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Henrs 19- Sage 


Am'^35z q,i I . 


Cornell University Library 
E184.S18 N42 
History of the Scandinavians and success 


3 1924 032 767 083 

Cornell University 

The original of tiiis book is in 
tine Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 




United States 

Compiled and Edited 




Minneapolis, Minn. 





Copyright, 1893, 1897, 1899, by O. N. Nelson 
All Rights Beserred 


Tols. I. and U. of History of the Scandinavians in the United States 

Bditok-in-Chief and Managing Kditoe, . 

Associate and Revising Editors, 

Assistant Editobs, 

Norwegian Synod Clergyman. 

G. N. SWAN, 
Vice-Consul of Sweden and Norway. 
Editor of Sv. Am. Posten. 

Editoeial Revisers of the Biographies ot Clbegtmen, 

T. H. DAHL, 
United Norwegian Clmroli Clergyman. 

President of Angsburg Seminary. 

C. J. PETRI, A. M., 
Swedish Lutheran Clergyman. 

Norwegian Synod Clergyman. 

Conteibdtoes and Revisers, 

Jos. A. Anderson, A. M., 
Swedish Lutheran Clergyman. 

J. Christian Bai, 
Bacteriologist, Des Moines, Iowa. 

G. O. Brohodgh, B. L.. LL. B., 

Professor in Red Wing Seminary. 

Ehha Sherwood Chester. 

Adam Dan, 
Danish Lutheran Clergyman. 

P. G. Dietbichson. 

C. M. Esbjoen, Ph. D., 
Swedish Lutheran Clergyman. 

Ajtdrew Estrem, Ph. D., 
Professor in Wartburg College. 

John Greeneield, 
Moravian Clergyman. 

John Halvorson, B. A„ 
Norwegian Synod Clergyman. 


United Danish Chnrch Clergyman. 

N. M. Liljegben, 
Swedish Methodist Clergyman. 

0. Neumann, 

Victor Nilsson, Ph. D., 
Author of History of Sweden. 

Julius E. Olson, B. L., 
Professor in the University of Wisconsin. 

J. T. Peters. 

Fbank Peteeson, 

Baptist Clergyman. 

P. A. Schmidt, D. D., 
Professor in the United Church Seminary. 


Ernst Skarstedt, 
Author of Svensk-Amerikanska Poeter 
and Vara Pennfaktare. 

E. A. Skogsbbrgh, 
Swedish Mission Clergyman. 

C. H. Spalding, LL. B., 
Attorney at Law, Goldendale, Wash. 

P. O. Stromme, B. a.. 
Author of Hvorledes Halvor blev Prest. 
Majob John Swainson. 

P. S. ViGj 

Professor in Trinity Seminary. 
B. L. Wick, A. M., LL. B., 
Attorney at Law, Cedar Rapids, Iowa_ 



Vol. I. of History of the Scandinavians in the United States 


Characteristics of the Scandinavians and Review of their History, 

O. N. Nelson 1 

History of the Scandinavian Immigration, O. N. Nbi,son 35 

The Icelandic Discoveries of America, S. Sigvaldson 77 

The First Swedish Settlement in America, Emma Shekwood Chester. 87 
The First Norwegian Immigration, or The Sloop Party of 1825, 

O. N. Nelson 125 

The Swedish Colony at Bishopshill, Illinois, Major John Swainson. . 135 
The 15th Wisconsin, or Scandinavian, Regiment, P. G. Dieteichson. . 153 
Historical Review of the Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church in 

America, Rev. Adam Dan 167 

Historical Review of Hauge's Evangelical Lutheran Synod in America, 

Pkop. G. O. Bbohocgh 173 

Historical Review of the Norwegiao Evangelical Lutheran Synod in 

America, Rev. John Halvobson 183 

Historical Review of the Scandinavian Baptists in the U. S. and in the 
North, Rev. Frank Peterson 197 

Historical Review of Scandinavian Methodism in the U. S. and in the 
North, Rev. N. M. Liljegren 205 

Historical Review of the Swedish Evangelical Mission Covenant of 

America, Rev. E. A. Skogsbergh 211 

Historical Review of the Swedish Lutheran Augustana Synod, 

Rev. C. J. Petri 217 

Historical Review of the United Norwegian Lutheran Church in 

America, Pboi'. Knutk Gjebset 225 

Statistics Regarding the Scandinavians in the United States, 

O. N. Nelson 243 

Bibliography of the Scandinavian-American Historical Literature of 

the Nineteenth Century, O. N. Nelson 265 

■ Historical Review of the Scandinavians in Mianesota, O. N. Nelson. . 297 
Historical Review of the Scandinavian Schools in Minnesota, 

J. J. Seordalsvold ' 3X7 

Historical Review of Scandinavian Churches in Minnesota, 

O. N. Nelson and J. J. Skobdalsvold ' 335 

Historical Review of the Minnesota District of the Norwegian Synod, 

Rev. John Halvoeson ' 35]^ 

Historical Review of the Minnesota Conference of the Augustana 
Synod, Rev. C. J. Petri 261 

Biographies of Scandinavians in Minnesota, Editors, Contbibutoks 

and Revisers ' 355 


Vol. II. of History of the Scandinavians in the United States 


The Nationality of Criminal and Insane Persons in the United 

States, O. N. Nelson 1 

Historical Review of Luther College, Prop. Andrew Bstbem 23 

Social Characteristics of the Danes and a History of Their 

Societies, O. N. Nelson and C. Neumann 39 

Historical Review of the United Danish Evangelical Lutheran 

Church in America, O. N. Nelson 49 

Historical Review of the Moravian Church and its Scandinavian- 

A merican Work, Rev. John Greeneield 57 

Historical Review of the Scandinavians in Iowa, O. N. Nelson 61 - 

Historical Review of the Scandinavian Schools in Iowa, 

J. J. Skordalsvold 75 

Historical Review of the Scandinavian Churches in Iowa, 

O. N. Nelson and J. J. Skordalsvold 83 

Historical Review of the Iowa Conference of the Augustnna Synod, 

Rev. Jos. A. Anderson 91 

Historical Review of the Iowa District of the Norwegian Synod, 

Rev. Adolph Bredesen 99 

Historical Review of the Scandinavians in Wisconsin, O. N. Nelson. . 105 
Historical Review of the Scandinavian Schools in Wisconsin, 

J. J. Skordalsvold 129 

Historical Review of the Scandinavian Churches in Wisconsin, 

O. N. Nelson and J. J. Skordalsvold 135 

Historical Review of the Eastern District of the Norwegian Synod, 

Rev. Adolph Bredesen 145 

Biographies of Scandinavians in Iowa and Wisconsin, Editors, Con- 
tributors, and Rbvcsees 153 


Page Vol. 

Aaker, LaraK 365 I 

Agar, Wm 237 II 

Akermark, G. E 237 II 

Almen, Louis G 366 I 

Anderson, Abel 238 II 

Anderson, Abel 366 I 

Anderson, Andrew G 153 II 

Anderson, Berudt 36S I 

Anderson, Daniel 369 I 

Anderson, J. A 238 II 

Anderson, J. E 239 II 

AndersoD, Mons 193 II 

Anderson.E.B 195 II 

Anundeen, B 154 II 

Arctander, J. W 369 .1 

Arosin, O. H 370 I 

Aslceland, H. T 371 I 

Bendeke,Karl 371 I 

Bengston, C. J 240 II 

Bennet, C. C 372 I 

Berg, Albert 373 I 

Bergh, J. A 240 II 

Bergh,K. E 1,^6 II 

Bergh, Martin 241 II 

Bergsland, H. H 373 I 

Biennann, Adolpb 374 I 

Bibrn, L. M 375 I 

Bjorgo, K 375 I 

Bookman, M. O 376 I 

Boeckmann.E 377 I 

Boen, H. K 377 I 

BorcUsenius, H 241 II 

Borup, C. W. W 378 I 

Bothne, Gisle 242 II 

Boye.N.C 157 II 

Boyeeen, A. E 379 I 

Brandt, Christian 380 I 

Breda, O.J 381 I 

Bredeaen. Adolph 242 II 

Brohonrii, G.O 382 I 

Brown,F,P 382 I 

Bmsletten, C. L 383 I 

Brydolf.F 158 II 

Bull, Storm 243 II 

Burg, P.N 244 II 

Barnquist, Sam 159 II 

Cappelen. P. W 383 I 

Carfien, LA.K 384 I 

Carlson, Anton 244 II 

Carlson, J, S 38S I 

Carlson, O. W 245 II 

Cassel, P 161 II 

Chantland, P. W 245 II 

ChriBtensen, F. S 386 I 

CUnsen.C, L 387 I 

Clausen, Pet^r 391 I 

Colbere, A. P. J 392 I 

Dahl, J. M 246 II 

Dahl.T. H 247 II 

Dahle, O. B 247 II 

Dan, Adam 248 II 

Darelius, A. B 392 I 

DaTideoD. J. 249 II 

Dnndas, J. C 199 II 

Esge, A. E 249 11 

Egeen, J. Mneller 393 I 

Engstrom.A.E 394 I 

Brdall. J. L 250 II 

Erickson, Halford 250 II 

Ericson, C. J. A 164 II 

Page Tol. 

Estrem,A 251 II 

Falatrom, Jacob 395 I 

FeUand, 0, G 396 I 

Fjelde, Jacob 396 I 

Fleischer, F 251 II 

Fliesburg, Oscar A 397 I 

Fosmark, O, N 399 I 

Fo3nes,C. A 399 I 

Foss, H, A 400 I 

Foss, Louis O 400 I 

Fremling, John 401 I 

Frich.J. B 401 I 

Gausta,H. iS 402 I 

Gjertsen, H. J 402 I 

GjertBen,J. P 201 II 

Gjertsen, M. F 404 I 

Granberg.O 262 11 

Grinager, Mons 405 I 

Grmdelaud.A 406 I 

Gronberger, R 406 I 

Grundtvig, F, L 2S3 II 

Gatteraen, G 407 I 

Halgren,C Q 408 I 

HalTand, B, M 253 II 

HalTorsen, H 254 II 

HalTorson, John 408 I 

Halvorson, Kittel 409 I 

Hansen, Oesten 410 I 

Hatlestad.O. J 166 II 

Haugen.G. N 254 II 

Hangen.N.P 202 II 

Heg,H.C 204 II 

Hendtiokson. P 255 II 

Hilleboe, H. S 410 I 

Hobe.E. H 411 I 

Hoegh, Knut 412 I 

Hokanaon, M. F 167 II 

Holmes, Ludvig 255 II 

Holst,M 256 II 

Holt, Andrew 413 I 

Homme,E.J 257 11 

Hougen, J. O 267 II 

Hoyme, G 207 II 

Husher,F.A 413 I 

Jackson, Andrew 414 I 

Jacobsen, J. D 176 II 

Jacobson, J. F 415 I 

Jaeger, Luth 416 I 

Janson, Kristofer N 418 I 

Jeanson, H. E 258 II 

Jenson, Andrew 258 II 

Jensson. J. C 419 I 

Jensvold, John 420 I 

Johnsen, Thomas 421 I 

Johnson, C, J 421 I 

Johnson, B. P 239 II 

Johnson, Gnstavus 422 I 

Johnton, J, A 209 II 

Johnson, Marcus 423 I 

Johnson, 0. C 260 II 

Johnson, Tosten 433 I 

Johnston, L. A 424 I 

Kildahl, J.N 425 I 

Kildsig, J. J 426 I 

Kittelson, Charles 427 ' I 

KnatTold, T. V 428 I 

Keren, U. V 178 II 

Kumlien, T. L. T 210 II 

Lagerstrom, E 428 I 

Langeland, K 213 II 



Page Vol. 

LaDgum, Samuel 429 I 

Larsen, Iver '<i60 II 

Laraen, Iianr 178 II 

Larson, Ole 261 II 

Liljesrron, N. M 429 I 

Lind, Alfred 429 I 

Lind. John 430 I 

Lindholm.A. T 434 X 

Linn, John 184 II 

Listoe, Soren 435 I 

Lobeck, E. E 435 I 

Lokensgaard, O 436 I 

Lomen, G. J 437 I 

Lund, E. Q 438 I 

Lund, L 262 II 

Lnndeen.J.A 438 I 

Lundholm,E. M 440 I 

Lunnow, Magnns 441 I 

Lysnes, David 186 II 

MagDU:^, Daniel 441 I 

Uattson, Hans 441 I 

Megaarden,P. T 444 I 

M;ohn,Th. N 445 I 

Muas,B. J 446 I 

Myran, Ole H 448 I 

Naeseth,C. A 262 II 

Nattestad, O. K 218 II 

Nelaenius, J. D 263 II 

Nelson, Andrew 448 I 

Nelson, Andrew 449 I 

Nelson, Knnte 419 I 

Nelson, Oley 263 II 

Nelson, Otto 264 II 

Nelson, Peter 452 I 

Neumann, C.F 452 I 

Nielsen, A. S 219 II 

NilsBon.P. 453 I 

Nilsson, Victor 457 I 

Nordberg, B. V 265 II 

Norelias, E 458 I 

Norrbom, A 265 II 

Oden, M. P 2t>6 II 

Oftedal, Sven 464 I 

Oleson, Ole 266 II 

Olsen, Johan 1S7 II 

0!son, C. O. A 485 I 

Olson, JuUos E 267 II 

OIson,01eBr 268 II 

Olson.S.E 466 I 

Ostrom, O. N 467 I 

Ostlnnd, O. W 468 I 

Ottesen, J. A 188 II 

Paulson, Ole 268 II 

Pedsrsjn, Knud 469 I 

Petersen, Ole P 469 I 

Petersen, W. M. H 469 I 

Peterson, Andrew P 470 I 

Peterson, Atley 269 II 

Peterson, Prank 470 I 

Peterson, James A 472 I 

Peterson, John 472 I 

Peterson.J.W 473 I 

Peterson, O. C 270 ll 

Peterson, Sewell A 271 II 

Petri,C.J 475 I 

Petri, G. A 476 I 

Pettersen, WUhelm M 474 I 

Preus.H. A 220 II 

QTale, S. A 271 II 

Railson, Andrew 477 I 


Page Vol. 

East, Gustaf 478 I 

Keimestad, Th. S 479 I 

Eeque, L. 8 271 II 

Rice, A. E 480 I 

Eingnell, C. J 481 I 

Eoe,0.0 272 II 

Eoos, Oscar 482 I 

Eosing,A.Q 482 I 

Eosing, L. A 483 I 

Sagen,A. K 272 II 

Sandberg, G. P 483 I 

Sandberg, J. H 484 I 

Saugstad, C 4S4 I 

Searle,0.0 485 I 

Shaleen, John 486 I 

Sjoblom, P 487 I 

Skaro, J. G 487 I 

Skogsbergh, E. A 488 I 

Skordalsvold, J. J 489 I 

Smith, C. A 490 I 

Soderstrom, A 492 I 

Sohlberg, O 492 I 

Solem,A 493 I 

Sorensen, S 494 I 

Stark, L.J 494 I 

SteenersoD, H 495 I 

Steensland, Halle 228 II 

Stockenstrom, H 496 I 

Stromme, Peer O 273 11 

Stub,H.G 497 I 

Sunwall, G. F 504 I 

Sverdrup, G 498 I 

Swainson, J 500 I 

Swan.G. N 274 II 

Sward.P.J 601 I 

Swenson, John 502 I 

Swenson, Lars 502 I 

Swenson, L.S Wi I 

Tharaldsen, 1 5(i5 I 

Thompson, E.E 606 I 

Thorpe, L. O 506 1 

Thorsen, John 230 II 

Thorson, A .507 I 

Thorvilson, T. K 275 II 

Thrane, Markas 232 II 

Thygeson.N. M 508 1 

Tollefsrude, C. H 275 II 

Torgerson, T. A 190 II 

Torrison, Osuld 233 II 

Torrison, T. E 276 II 

Trandberg.P. C 509 I 

Tronsdal, F. L 276 II 

Turnblad.M 510 I 

Turnblad,S. J 611 I 

Ueland, A 512 I 

Valder, Hans 513 I 

Vangsues, O.P 277 II 

Veblen, A. A 278 II 

Vig,P. S 278 II 

Vinje,A. J 279 II 

Waerner, Ninian 514 I 

Wahlstrom, M 518 I 

Warner, H. B 235 II 

Werner. N.O 516 I 

Wick, B. L 279 II 

Widstrand, P. H 517 I 

Xavier.N. P 280 II 

Vlvisaker, J 517 I 

Ytterboe, H. T 518 I 


Page Vol. 

Aadereon, A 153 II 

ADderaon, Bemdt 36S I 

Anderson, Rev . J. A . . .' 153 II 

Anderson, Prof. E. B 81 I 

Anandsen, Br;nild 152 II 

Angsbnrg Seminary 193 I 

Augustana College 222 I 

Bendeke, Dr. Karl 377 I 

Bergh, Rev. J. A 233 II 

Bergh,M 249 II 

Bergslsnd, Prof. H. H 369 I 

Biom, Rev. L. M 369 1 

Bookman, Prof. M. 425 I 

Boyesen, A. E 376 I 

Brandt, C 369 I 

Bredesen, Rev. A 217 II 

Brnsletten, C. L 369 I 

Burg,P.N 249 II 

Carlson, A 153 II 

Carlaon, Prof. J. S 384 I 

Chantiand, P. W 169 II 

Clansen, Rev. C. L 425 I 

Dahl. Rev. T. H 201 II 

Darelius, A. B 489 I 

Egge, Prof. A. E 169 II 

Brioson, C. J. A 168 II 

Fliesburs, Dr. O. A 400 I 

Fosnes, C. A 409 I 

• Frich, Piof. J. B 481 I 

Gjertsen.H.J 385 I 

Gjertsen, Eev. M. F 393 I 

Granherg, O 233 II 

Grindeland, A 409 I 

Gostavus Adolphns College.. 223 I 

Halvorsen, Rev. H 201 II 

Haugen, N. P 200 II 

Hobe, E. H 416 I 

Hokanson, Rev. M. F 184 II 

Holmes, Rev. L 184 II 

Hoyme, Rev. Gjermund 216 II 

Jaeger, Luth 449 I 

Jeaaon, A 233 II 

JensBon, Rev. J. C 393 1 

Johnsen, Hev. T 481 I 

Johnson, C. J 513 I 

Johnson, E. P 169 II 

Johnson, Prof. G 513 I 

Johnston, Rev. L. A 425 I 

Kildsig.Rev. J. J 393 I 

Koren, Eev. tJ. V 185 II 

Langeland, Knud 225 II 

Larsen, Prof. Lanr 185 II 

Lind, Dr. A 513 I 

Lind, John 432 I 

Lindholm.A.T 249 II 

Listoe, Soren 417 I 

liokensgaard. Prof. O 409 1 

Land, Prof, E. G 249 II 

Lund.Eev.L 201 II 

Luther College 192 I 

Mngnus, Prof. D 408 I 

Page VoL 

Mattson. Col. Hans 401 I 

Megaarden. P. T 440 I 

Myran, O. H 465 I 

Nelson, Knute 448 I 

Nelson, O 265 II 

Nilsson, Eev. F. O 449 I 

Nilsson, Victor 449 I 

Noreliua, Eev. E 425 I 

Norrbom, Eev. A 153 II 

Oftedal. Prof. Sven 4S6 I 

Old Swedes' Church, The 80 I 

Olsen, Bev.J 265 II 

Olson, CO. A 4!i9 I 

Olson, Prof. Julius E 217 II 

Ottesen, Rev. J. A 265 II 

Peterson, A 248 II 

Peterson, Eev. Frank 472 I 

Peterson, J 513 I 

Peterson, J. A 489 I 

Peterson, O.C 264 II 

Petri, Eev. C.J 424 I 

Petri.Q. A 489 I 

Preus, Eev. H. A 224 II 

Eeimeatad, Prof. T. S 393 I 

Rice, A. E 48(1 I 

Rice,C.A 465 I 

RingeeU, Dr. C. J 464 I 

Roamij, L. A 433 I 

Sandberg, Dr. G. P 465 I 

Soarie.O.O 488 I 

Shaleen. J 465 I 

Skaro, Dr. J. G 392 I 

Skogsbergh, Rev. E. A 473 T 

Smith, C. A 496 I 

Soderstrom, A 401 I 

Sohlberg, Dr. Olof 400 I 

Steensland, H 201 II 

Stockenstrom, Herman 497 I 

St. Olaf College 193 I 

Stromme, P. O 217 II 

Stub, Prof. H. G 481 I 

Sunwall, G. P 441 I 

Sverdrup, Prof. Georg 457 I 

Sw.Hn, G. N 272 II 

Sward, Rev. P. J 504 I 

Thompson, R.E 409 I 

Thorpe, L. O 449 I 

ToUefsrude, 0. H 235 II 

Torgorson, Eev. T. A 273 II 

Torrison, Osuld 232 II 

Torrison, T. E 217 II 

Tronsdal, F. L 233 II 

Turnblad.S J 512 I 

Vangsnes, Eev. O. P 273 II 

Veblen, Prof. A. A 273 II 

Viking Ship, The 80 J 

Wahlstrom, Prof. M 505 I 

Wick, B. L 169 II 

Xavier, Hev. N. P 273 II 

Ylviaaker, Prof. J 481 I 



For nearly ten years I have devoted all my time to the 
investigation of Scandinavian-American history; and the 
first edition of my first volume, which appeared in 1893, was 
far more favorably received than I ever anticipated or dared 
to hope. Yet it was by no means faultless ; and as the 
pages from 1 to 276 were electrotyped, it was no easy task 
to correct every mistake. But at great expense of time, 
labor, and money, all errors of facts and most of the gram- 
matical mistakes have been corrected. Several pages, and 
even whole articles, have been rewritten. The article on 
The First Norwegian Immigration, or The Sloop Fartj^ 
of 1825, is a new production. Nearly twenty pages of 
Bibliography and some valuable statistical tables have 
been added. Pages 291-364, dealing with Scandinavian 
settlements, churches, and schools, in Minnesota, are new 
matter, prepared for this edition ; and the balance of Vol. 
I. consists of biographies of Scandinavians in Minnesota, 
most of which appeared in the first edition; but all of them 
have been rewritten, rearranged, and brought up to date. 
In fact, the revision and reconstruction of the whole first 
volume have been so thorough and complete that in many 
respects it is an entirely new history of the Scandinavians 
in America, brought up to the beginning of the twentieth 

The first edition of the second volume was issued so 
recently (in 1897) and prepared with such great care that 
hardly any changes were made up to page 236, except in 
regard to the arrangement of the biographies. The rest of 



the work was reset altogether. But owing to the lack of 
space, several biographies which appeared in the first 
edition had to be omitted, and some were .very much 

It must be admitted that, excepting the church organ- 
izations, there are hardly any Scandinavian institutions in 
this country. Whatever is accomplished in the political, 
social, or financial spheres by any Scandinavian-American, 
is accomplished by the individual. Hence, the record of such 
individuals necessarily has to be an important feature of 
Scandinavian-American history. Partly to sell my work, 
and partly to secure the most reliable information on his- 
torical and biographical topics, I have personally visited all 
the counties and cities in Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin 
where any considerable number of Scandinavians reside. 

In selecting and editing the biographies — as well as in 
preparing everything else for this work — I have endeavored 
to be impartial. It has been my aim not to be influenced by 
any religious belief, national prejudice, political conviction, 
or personal friendship or dislike. In cases where I felt that 
I might be liable to lean toward one side or another, some 
of the editors or revisers, whose opinions differed from mine, 
were consulted. To state the unadorned facts, without lite- 
rary display or expression of judgment, has been the con- 
stant endeavor in regard to the biographical sketches. Yet 
sometimes it was almost necessary to pass judgment on a 
man's standing within a certain sphere, and I have not 
shrunk from doing so, or from permitting it to be done, when- 
ever it seemed advisable or desirable, and when the opinions 
expressed were by general consent considered to be true. 

No one has been allowed to write his own biography, 
even the editors of, and contributors to, this work having 
been subjected to this rule. The parties themselves, how- 


ever, when living, have been permitted to examine their 
biographies in regard to the facts; but the language used, 
the views expressed, and the method of treatment, are 
strictly our own. The proper equilibrium of modesty and 
self-esteem is a difficult virtue to attain, and some of our 
Scandinavian-Americans are sadly deficient in this respect. 
One man, whose chief merit apparently consisted in having 
been in the lower branch of the legislature a couple of terms, 
was indignant because his biography did not begin thus: 
"Hon. is one of the most popular and active Repub- 
licans in the state of ." A much larger percentage, 

however, go too far in the other direction. For an historian 
to avoid the sins of commission and omission under such 
circumstances, and at the same time not to offend people, is 
a Herculean task. Consequently, the biographies of living 
men are more or less unsatisfactory. At the same time the 
great pains which have been taken with the biographies, 
some of which have been revised by half a dozen different 
parties, ought to make them exceptionally reliable. 

In regard to the spelling of the geographical names in 
the Scandinavian countries, the postoffice directories of Den- 
mark, Norway, and Sweden have been carefully consulted, 
and in most cases the latest mode of spelling has been 
followed. The radical changes in spelling which have been 
adopted by the government of Norway in recent years has 
a comical side in connection with this work, namely, that 
several educated Norwegian-Americans do not know^ how 
to spell correctly the name of their own birthplace. When- 
ever possible, not only the forsaxnling or prestegjeld 
where a person was born has been mentioned, but also the 
stift or province, and of course the country ; this was neces- 
sary because several places in the North have the same 
name; for example, there are in Sweden over 50 places 



called Saby, and 75 Berg. Whenever it is stated that a 
person has received a college education in one of the Scandi- 
navian countries, it is meant that he has completed a course 
at one of the eJezaentar Mrovarken in Sweden or the 
Latin schools of Denmark or Norway— the names of these 
institutions cannot be properly translated, but the best 
equivalent for them is college. Nearly all the names of 
newspapers and books, as well as foreign words, have been 
printed in Italics. 

For fifty years past numerous attempts have been made 
by different parties, both in the English and the Scandina- 
vian languages, to elucidate certain features of the life of 
the Scandinavian- Americans. Many of these productions 
were meritorious, and a few of them are standard works as 
far as they go. Among the men making these attempts 
were several who by intellectual endowment and thorough- 
ness of education were well prepared to undertake and suc- 
cessfully complete their task. Yet, apparently, none of 
these productions have received sufficient recognition and 
support to enable any one of the many Scandinavian- 
American writers to devote time and talent to extensive 
historical research concerning their countrymen on this side 
of the Atlantic. That I have been enabled to devote 
several years to historical investigations, to meet the 
various and often heavy expenses connected with the prep- 
aration and publication of such a large work, and to make 
a living out of the sale of the book, seems to indicate that 
my labors are appreciated. This appreciation has not only 
been manifested by a courteous reception of the author 
wherever he has traveled, and by a flattering endorsement 
of his work, but by a generous financial patronage, some- 
times involving considerable sacrifice on the part of the 
admirer of the enterprise. The keen interest which the 



educated Scandinavian-Americans, especially the clergj^, 
have taken in the history, has incited the author to greater 
exertion in the prosecution of his labor. 

I am indebted to so many people for the successful com- 
pletion of this edition that it is beyond my power to give 
fall credit to all those who have assisted me in the under- 
taking. Special mention, however, should be made of Consul 
G. N. Swan, Rev. Adolph Bredesen, Ernst Skarstedt, Rev. 
C. M. Esbjorn, and J. J. Skordalsvold, who have carefully 
and critically revised several important articles and rend- 
ered valuable assistance in the completion of the Bibli- 
ograpbjr. The last mentioned has also revised and read 
proof of the whole work, and without his able aid it 
might not have appeared in its present form. Elias Ander- 
son and F. L. Tronsdal have taken more than ordinary 
interest in the enterprise. My wife has looked after the 
purely artistic part of the work. I am also under obliga- 
tion to the Lumberman Publishing Company, the typesetter; 
the Tribune Job Printing Company, who have done the 
press work; Bramblett & Beygeh, the engravers; and A. J. 
Dahl & Company, the binders. 

Owing to the magnitude of the labor and expense 
involved in completing this edition, a few years may pass 
before I shall be able to prepare and publish the third vol- 
ume, which no doubt will deal with Illinois and some 
neighboring states. 

Partly on account ol having different writers to pre- 
pare the various articles, no absolutely uniform system of 
capitalization and punctuation has been maintained 
throughout this work. Yet the exceptions to the rigid 
"Rules of Nelson and Skordalsvold" are few and unimport- 
ant. Sometimes in quoting from another author, it was 
inconvenient to use his exact language. In such cases the 



single quotation mark ( ' ) has been employed to indicate 
that the expression is not my own. As has been said before, 
no literary brilliancy has been attempted. Hamlin Garland 
remarked recently: "I believe the -well-educated descend- 
ants of the Scandinavian settlers of the Northwestern 
states are closer to Webster's dictionary to-day than are 
the languid Southerners, or the erudite Easterners." If his 
assertion be true, I may entertain the hope that the lan- 
guage used in this work is tolerably correct, because the 
classes of people he refers to have written or revised a large 
portion of it. The greatest master of history, Edward 
Gibbon, says, "Diligence and accuracy are the only merits 
which an historical writer may ascribe to himself." Another 
celebrated writer, James Clark Ridpath, asserts, "The his- 
torian must either lay down his pen or cease to be a parti- 
san;" and on the altar of Diligence, Accuracy, and Impar- 
tiality I have laid down the best fruits of my labor. 

O. N. Nelson. 
Minneapolis, Minn., January, 1900. 





United states 


Compiled and Editbd 

Characteristics of the Scandinavians 




This is an age of classification, and mankind has been 
divided into different races, or types, of men. But history, 
with a few exceptions, deals only with one race — the Cau- 
casian — ^because hardly any others have succeeded in becom- 
ing civilized. The Hindoos, Persians, Greeks, Latins, 
Slavonians, Kelts, and Teutons, all belong to the Indo- 
European branch of the great Caucasian race. The English, 
the Germans, the Dutch, the Scandinavians, and their descen- 
dants in other countries, are all members of the Teutonic 
family. It may seem strange that the theoretical Greek and 
the practical Englishman, the fanatical Hindoo and the 
philosophical German, the rude Russian and the polite 
Frenchman, should all have, if we go far enough back, a 
common ancestry. Yet the resemblance of their languages 
and their mythologies proves that they were once one people, 
who lived together somewhere. But when or under what 
circumstances they separated, and migrated to different 
countries cannot be determined. But if the different nations 


of the Indo-European branch diifer greatly in physical ap- 
pearance, mental culture, social conditions, religious beliefs, 
and political attainments, the closest relation exists between 
the different nations of the Teutonic family. Physically, the 
Teutons resemble each other; mentally, they are equally 
endowed. The development of the political history of Sweden 
is similar to the development of the political history of Eng- 
land. Blackstone, the father of English law, and Stjernhook, 
the father of Swedish law, agree on many of the finest points 
in jurisprudence. Danes, Norwegians, Swedes, Germans, 
Dutchmen, and Englishmen have a common mythology and 
common superstitions; but it is only the Scandinavians- 
Danes, Norwegians, and Swedes — who have, almost, a com- 
mon language. The Danes and the Norwegians write virtually 
alike, but differ a httle in their pronunciation; nor is it, at 
all, difficult for a Swede to understand a Norwegian, or for a 
Dane to understand a Swede. All the Scandinavian people, 
with the exception of the Icelanders, understand each other's 

When and under what circumstances the Scandinavians 
first came to their northern homes has always been a mat- 
ter of dispute among scholars. Different theories have been 
advocated. Learned men have maintained that the human 
race first saw daylight in the Land of the Midnight Sun, and 
that the Paradise of the Bible was located near Upsala, 
Sweden. The Icelandic sagas claim that Odin, the god and 
king of the Teutons, taught his people the art of writing and 
the science of war, and led them out of Asia, through Russia, 
and colonized the Scandinavian countries. It is only one 
hundred and fifty years since a noted scientist endeavored to 


proTC that the greatest part of the North could not have been 
inhabited at the time of the birth of Christ, because most of 
the land there was then covered with water. Others again 
assert that Scandinavia has been the cradle of the Indo- 
European branch of the human race. A well-known Nor- 
wegian-American educator and author says: "There is a 
strong probability that their (the Scandinavian tribes) inva- 
sion of the countries which they now inhabit must have 
taken place during the second century preceding the Christian 
era." But the latest and most celebrated Scandinavian 
anti quarians and historians have — ^by comparing the old 
skulls, as found in the graves, with the skulls of the present 
people — come to the conclusion that the same race of people 
which now inhabit the Scandinavian countries, have been 
there for thousands of years, at least, before the Christian 
era commenced. 

The Scandinavians entered late upon the historical arena. 
The Grecian history had begtm eight hundred years before 
even their existence was known. Grecian literature, philoso- 
phy, and art had flourished centuries before they could write 
their own names. The Romans had conquered the fairest 
part of the earth, legislated for the world, made good roads 
through the whole empire, and civilized a large portion of 
mankind, before the Scandinavians occupied houses or fixed 
habitations, but wandered through the dense forests as semi- 
savages. The French, English, and Germans had been Chris- 
tianized four or five hundred years before the Northern peo- 
ple accepted Catholicism astheirnationalreligion,andaslate 
as in the sixteenth century some of them still worshiped 
Odin. This late development, which is no doubt due to the 


severity of the climate, and tlie great separation from the 
higher civilization of the South, must be taken into con- 
sideration -when we compare the Scandinavians with other 
nations, and endeavor to determine the quantity and quality 
of influence which each nation has had upon the general his- 
tory of mankind. 

That the Northmen, in spite of their lateness, have had a 
great influence, and taken an active part in the world's busi- 
ness, no one can successfully contradict. They have not 
merely been savage plunderers and rude conquerors, but also 
discoverers, civilizers, and organizers. They assisted in over- 
throwing the magnificent Roman power, conquered France, 
enslaved England, discovered America five hundred years 
before the voyage of Columbus, organized the Russian Em- 
pire, and liberated Germany from religious and political 
thraldom. Of course the greater part of their contact with 
other nations and their influence upon other people have 
been accomplished through war; but war, until recently, has 
been the mainspring of nearly all undertakings. The very 
fact that the Scandinavians have, by the might of their 
swords, crowned and dethroned foreign rulers; dictated terms 
to popes and emperors; fought, both for and against, the 
liberties of men; and in many other ways taken an active 
part in the affairs of the world, must have had a great influ- 
ence upon civilization. 

The Scandivanian countries were first referred to in 
Grecian literature as early as three hundred years before the 
birth of Christ. "But," says Geijer, "if the Greek ever knew 
anything about them, the Roman again forgot them." But 
if the Roman had forgotten them, he was soon to be re- 


tniaded of their existence in a forcible and positive manner, 
for, under the name of Goths, the Scandinavians became the 
principal participants in undermining and destroying the 
Roman power in the third, fourth, and fifth centuries of the 
Christian era. 

By a chain of successful conquests; by good management 
through very capable and honest men; by establishingpub- 
lic order, law, and justice; by encouraging literature, science, 
art, and the accumulation of wealth, the Roman Empire had, 
in the second century of this era, reached a state of greatness, 
power, and civilization, which has hardly been equalled, 
never surpassed by any nation, either of the ancient or the 
modern world. 

The Romans, who had at first assailed the domains of the 
barbaric Teiitons beyond the river Rhine, were in the third 
and fourth centuries of this era called upon to defend their 
own territories against the invasion of the very same bar- 
barians whom they had been unable to conquor or subdue. 
For this purpose a line of military posts had been estab- 
lished along the river to protect the Roman citizens against 
the invading hordes, being similar to those which the United 
States keeps on the western borders to protect the whites 
from Indian outrages. 

Of the many different tribes, all belonging to the Teu- 
tonic family, who pressed upon the Roman frontier, none 
were so powerful or intelligent as the Goths. These Goths 
dwelt on both sides of the Baltic Sea, and it is said that 
those who joined their kinsmen to participate in the plunder 
of the Mistress of the World, crossed the sea from the Scan- 
dinavian countries in three ships. But, as later was the 


case with the Vikings, they were not formidable in numbers, 
but in courage, endurance, and ferocity. These wild men are 
described as being very tall, strong, and robust; having 
white bodies, yellow hair, broad shoulders, wiry muscles, 
florid complexion, and fierce blue eyes that during excite- 
ment gleamed with fire and passion. Physically, they, in 
general, resembled the people of the whole Teutonic family 
of today; but, more specifically, they came nearest to the 
people who now live in the southern part of Sweden and on 
the Danish islands. Little or nothing is known in regard 
to the semi-civilization which they had attained to at the time 
they first came in contact with the imperial power; but they 
probably had reached a fairly high standard of moral devel- 
opment, and enjoyed some luxuries. 

It was with these men, " Who astonished the nations of 
the South by their reckless courage and gigantic stature, ' ' that 
the imperial army of Rome had to measure swords. It w^as 
ancient renown against barbaric ferocity, disciplined order 
against natural courage, law against anarchy, Christianity 
against Odin, Latin against Teuton. The Roman fought 
by prescription, his movements were as regular as clock- 
work. The Teuton obeyed the commander, but the com- 
mander was chosen for his fitness. If the Teutons could not 
stand their ground, their wives and sisters assisted them. 
The women fought and screamed with a fierceness 
never witnessed before or after, save during the French 
Revolution. The Romans feared the wild yells of the women 
almost as much as they feared the swords of their husbands 
and brothers. Rome was doomed. It was to no avail that 
the barbaric warriors were engaged to defetid the Roman 


territories against barbaric invasion; they, of course, turned 
traitors. It delayed, but did not change the result. 

In the latter part of the fifth century of this era a 
Teutonic savage sat on the throne of Rome. At about the 
same time Spain, France, and in fact all western Europe fell 
into the hands of the Northern hordes. 

Now an exhibition was made on the grand stage of the 
historical theatre that has never, in all the various dramas 
of human actions, had its likeness. Side by side, on apparent 
social equality, walked the refined Roman — dressed in his 
toga — by the rude man from the North — dressed in a 
goat-skin suit — his long, yellow hair combed towards 
the four winds. The citizen carried centuries of learning 
in his head, the luxuries from many countries on his back. 
He was the poet, the artist, the statesman, and the phi- 

The Goth possessed nothing; he only knew^ how to eat, 
drink, and fight. But he carried the sword of state, before 
w^hich the proud Roman bowed in humble subjection. 

By the fall of Rome, civilization had been thrust backward 
many centuries. Anarchy reigned supreme. Time rolled on; 
for centuries the Roman world — yea the world itself— was 
hidden in darkness. For this wholesale barbarization the 
Romans themselves were partly responsible. They lacked 
the frankness, manliness, honesty, and virtue requisite to pre- 
serve sufiicient moral power to govern decently a great state. 
The old civilization which Rome represented had lost its 
force. The Roman believed in nothing. Right and wrong 
were only relative terms. To him anything which succeeded 
was right, everything which failed was wrong. The Romans 


had become greatly degenerated, debaucliery and licentious- 
ness were the common practice. 

The new race was ignorant, but had strong convictions 
and high moral principles. To the Goth falsehood was a 
great vice, secret stealing was a cowardly act, for which no 
torment was too severe. He robbed openly, he faced his 
victims boldly. He was honest and frank, living up to his 
rude ideas oi life. The Persians, the Egyptians, the Greeks, 
and the Romans had their liberties on account of belonging 
to a powerful, free state. The Teuton was a free man be- 
cause he was a man ; individuality was his strongest char- 

The native population out-numbered, by far, the invaders, 
who, nevertheless, swayed the scepter of power. In time 
the Goths adoplted the Christian religion and became some- 
what civilized. The slaves became their master's instruc- 
tors. Out of the Roman confusion rose the modem states. 
In the eighth and ninth centuries w^estem Europe had been 
somewhat organized and Christianized, only, however, to be 
thrown into confusion again by the kinsmen and partly 
countrymen of the Goths — namely, the Vikings. 

Before the fall of Rome little is known of the history, 
customs, or characteristics of the Scandinavian people; but 
it is certain that they were tribes of the great Teutonic 
family, and had, probably, not advanced much above 
the condition of the semi-civilized races at that time. The 
Teutons, however, unlike some people, had the talent to 
adopt new ideas, to assimilate with other people, and to ad- 
vance. History proves sufficiently that they have been very 
progressive. The Goths had been the principal participants 


in the destruction of Rome, but the Goths were not exclu- 
sively Scandinavians, because part of the tribe, in all prob- 
ability, lived in Germany. The Teutons constituted many 
tribes, no nationalities existed, which, however, commenced 
to develop shortly after the fall of Rome. 

In the seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth, and eleventh centur- 
ies — at the time when the foundation of the European king- 
doms w^ere in process of construction — ^the inhabitants of the 
Scandinavian countries became famous as Vikings. But the 
Viking practice had been in operation ever since the Teutons 
and Romans came in conflict with each other. The Scandi- 
navian Viking age is only a continuation of the barbaric 
flood that deluged the classical civilization. The two may 
differ in the particulars, but not in the essentials; it is im- 
possible to understand one, without having a clear concep- 
tion of the other. "All wars hang together, " Gustavus Adol- 
phus used to say. 

According to Sars,the Scandinavian Viking age is divided 
into three periods; but it might be more correct to say that 
there were three kinds of Vikings, as no sharp divisions, in 
regard to time, can be made. No one can tell when the age 
commenced. Northern Vikings had, no doubt, practiced 
their trade ever since the Christian era began, and, perhaps, 
before. The First Period: A small number of chieftains, or 
one alone, would, at irregular times, gather together crews 
for a few ships and sail over to England, Ireland, France, or 
Flanders, where they would plunder a city or a monastery, 
and quickly return home with their booty. The Second 
Period: An advance was made, not only in the art of war and 
military management, but even in the systematic plan of 


robbing defenceless people. Several Vikings club together, 
take possession of some exposed point — for example, a small 
island near the coast — erect fortifications, and thus control 
a large extent of territory. Thev may remain at one place 
for years, and forage the surrounding country accord- 
ing to a regular plan, then proceed to their native lands. 
The Third Period: Plundering, robbing, and piracy have 
been abandoned. The Vikings came as conquerors. Their 
fleets counted fi-om one to five hundred vessels. Cities were 
stormed and sacked. They conquered territories, settled 
them, and governed them. They treated with kings and 
rulers. Of course the third period, during the ninth, tenth, 
and eleventh centuries, is without comparison the most im- 
portant and fascinating. It has had a very great influence 
both upon the Scandinavian countries and abroad. 

The Vikings, who had at first occasionally plundered the 
western European countries for the sake of pleasure and 
small profits, commenced "Piracy as a trade" on a wholesale 
scale in the first part of the ninth century. "These bold 
sailors and admirable foot-soldiers " had madea general and 
perpetual declaration of war on all mankind, but especially 
on those who possessed any kind of tangible property that 
was worth having. The seas swarmed with their sails. 
The miserable people along the coasts of the North Sea, who 
had lately been Christianized, fled in terror. Priests prayed 
in vain: "Deliver us, Lord, from the rage of the North- 
men." The world, it was thought, would soon come to an 
end. Germany, Holland, Belgium, England, Scotland, Ire- 
land, France, Spain, and Italy were all punished with fire 
and sword, sacked and robbed, drenched in blood and tears. 


That time has been called the heroic age, the age of individ- 
ualism. Princes had to buy their freedom in gold and 
cede their torritories to the conquerors. Paris was beseiged, 
Dublin -was taken by storm, and in the very heart of London, 
not far from the celebrated St.Paul's Cathedral, have been 
found skeletons of old Northern warriors. 

Many scattering Scandinavian settlements were made in 
foreign countries during these terrible times. The Northern 
people intermarried and mixed with the native population. 
In a comparatively short time the fierce pirates became 
Christianized and civilized, giving new vigor and energy to 
the degenerated people of western Europe. Besides the many 
smaller settlements, scattered throughnearly every European 
country, the Norwegians colonized Iceland in the latter part 
of the ninth century; the famous Rolf— also a Norwegian, 
though several of his followers were Danes and Swedes — 
w^rested Normandy from the weak French king in the first part 
of the tenth century, and the Danes conquered the whole of 
England a hundred years later. The colonization of Iceland, 
and the conquest of Normandy and England were the last 
and greatest acts of the bloody drama of the Viking age; 
these were beneficial to civilization, and may be said to have 
palliated the former atrocities of the Northmen. The Ice- 
landers created a classical litei'ature from which is received 
the best information we have in regard to the mythology of 
the Teutons in general, and of the Scandinavians in particular; 
established a humanitarian, free republic, on the basis of the 
Northmen's conception of a civil government, which lasted 
for nearly four hundred years; discovered America five hun- 
dred years before Columbus sailed from Spain, and perhaps 


his knowledge of what they had accomplished partly induced 
him to undertake the voyage. The followers of Rolf found 
Normandy in poverty and distress. In a short time they 
made it the richest, most populous, and most civilized pro- 
vince in France, where the best French language w^as used. 
The Normans, being virtually independent of the French 
monarch, conquered England in 1066, and founded the king- 
doms of Naples and Sicily. Danish kings reigned over Eng- 
land, as well as in their native country, of course, for several 
years, and to-day many English words, laws, and customs 
are purely Scandinavian. The names of many cities, lakes, 
rivers, etc, in France, England, Scotland, Ireland, and other 
countries, have aScandinavianorigin. Several of the greatest 
noblemen in the western European countries — notably Lord 
Nelson of England — are descendants of the Northmen. 

During the Viking age the boundary lines between the 
Scandinavian countries were not sharply drawn. In fact 
the people were at first tribes; then a great number of petty 
kingdoms were formed. It was not until the latter part of 
the ninth century that the present divisions of the Northern 
nationalities were established, and the Scandinavians con- 
tinued to speak one and the same language for tw^o or three 
hundred years later. Even after the stronger kings had suc- 
ceeded in defeating the weaker and adding their territories 
to their own dominions, which resulted in laying the founda- 
tion of the present Northern powers, it was yet a long time 
before the present boundary lines were established. A large 
part of southern Sweden, which is now the richest and most 
populous portion of the country, belonged to Denmark, and 
some of its western land belonged to Norway. It is, there- 


fore, incorrect to speak about a Danish conquest or a Nor- 
wegian colonization, for things were rather mixed up in 
those days. Yet it is certain that the Swedes participated 
less in the destruction, and later in the upbuilding of the 
western European countries than the Danes and Norwegians. 
The Danes confined themselves principally to England and 
France. The Norwegians attended to Scotland, Ireland, and 
other northern islands. The Swedes, being closed out from 
the North Sea, went east, where they founded the Russian 
Empire in the middle of the ninth century, and served in 
large numbers in the imperial army at Constantinople. 

The descendants of the Swedish founders of Russia ruled 
that country until the sixteenth century. In certain parts of 
Switzerland the people claim, at least they did half a century 
ago, that they are descendants of the Swedes. 

What were the causes which produced the Viking age ? 
The answer is : 

First — Although there is every reason to believe that the 
Scandinavian countries were a great deal less populous than 
at present; yet, being poorly tilled, and one man often 
having children by several women, there were more 
people than could be supported. Some had to seek their 
fortune in foreign countries. Frequently a father was com- 
pelled to drive all his sons away from home to make their 
own living, save one who inherited his estate. 

Second — The religion, the desire for adventure, and the 
spirit of the times, induced many to leave their native coun- 
tries to court dangers and turn the wheel of fortune in for- 
eign lands. It was believed that only those who died a vio- 
lent death were entitled in the next life to associate with the 


gods in Valhalla. It was considered a liigh honor to have 
fought successfully in foreign countries. Young princes 
receiTed their first education on board of a war vessel. In a 
short time the Viking business became a fashion. 

Third— The love for freedom and the passion for inde- 
pendence, or the strong individuality, induced many to 
leave the North rather than submit to a superior, which 
they were especially called upon to do during the latter part 
of the period when the stronger kings at home subdued the 
weaker. But at the bottom it was essentially a question of 
economy. Men's religion often coincides with their business 
interests, and that was sometimes the case with the Vikings, 
for several of them believed a great deal more in their own 
strength than in the powers of the gods. 

We must not look at the Vikings through the glasses of 
the twentieth century, or judge them according to the stand- 
ard of modem civilization, but examine them in accordance 
with the spirit of the times, and measure them by the in- 
fluence their deeds have had upon general history. They 
honestly believed that "War was the natural condition of 
man," and that a legitimate reason for declaring hostility 
was, that those who were attacked had valuable property. 
After all, this robbery did not differ much from the English 
opium war, the plundering of Denmark and Prance of their 
provinces by the Germans, and the treatment of the Indians, 
Mexicans, and Spaniards by the United States. The Northmen 
were in a kind of continual state of hostility. The modem 
wars are so terribly destructive to life and property that 
their continuation for a longer period would annihilate the 
whole human race. It is true that modem warfare is con- 


ducted on a more systematic plan, but the struggles of the 
Vikings were not altogether irregular. For if anyone be- 
sides the great noblemen and kings indulged in the plunder- 
ing business on a small scale, they were at once driven off 
the sea as a set of lawless robbers, whom the Vikings them- 
selves considered it to be a moral duty to exterminate. 
Therefore, according to the spirit of the times, the operation 
of the Vikings was a perfectly legitimate, honorable, perpet- 
ual state of war, limited to certain persons, who made it 
their profession for the sake of pleasure and profit. 

It must also be remembered that the description of these 
fierce outrages has always been recorded by their enemies. 
Very often crimes were charged to the Vikings which in 
reality were committed by, what may be termed, their camp- 
followers, or the worst element of the respective countries 
in which the Northmen might happen to be. 

In regard to the ultimate results, and the benefits to the 
human race which was the consequence of these bloody 
times, reference has already been made to the state of affairs 
at and after the fall of Rome. The same was the case shortly 
after in the western European countries. For as Prof 
Worsaae says, who, perhaps, is the best authority on the his- 
tory of the Vikings : ' In the first ages Christianity pro- 
duced among the people, as was the case in other countries 
besides England, a sort of degeneracy and weakness. In- 
stead of the dire battleof the heathens there were now heard 
songs and prayers, which, joined with the constantly increas- 
ing refinement, made the people dull and effeminate, so that 
they willingly bent under the yoke of their masters, both 
spiritual and temporal. In the ninth, tenth, and eleventh 


centuries the Anglo-Saxons had greatly degenerated from 
their forefathers. Relatives sold one another into thraldom; 
lewdness and ungodliness had become habitual; and cow- 
ardice had increased to such a degree that, according to the 
old chroniclers, one Dane would often put ten Anglo-Saxons 
to flight. Before such a people could be conducted to true 
freedom and greatness it was necessary that an entirely new 
vigor should be infused into the decayed stock. This vigor 
was derived from the Scandinavian North, where neither 
Romans nor any other conquerors had domineered over the 
people, but where heathenism with all its roughness, and all 
its love of freedom and bravery, still held absolute sway. 

This admirable description of the condition in England 
applies, perhaps, with greater truth and force to other 
w^estem European peoples; for they are in no small de- 
gree indebted to the old Northmen for whatever freedom, 
honesty, virtue, and heroism they now possess. The founda- 
tion of the present European states w^as laid by our ances- 
tors. Out of the confusion, disorder, and anarchy arose a 
new civilization. From the union of the degenerated w^estera 
European peoples and the courageous Scandinavians sprung 
a new, a better, a nobler, a manlier race. 

During the Viking periods great changes had taken place 
at home in the Scandinavian countries. The smaller king- 
doms were conquered and united with the larger, thus laying 
the foundation of the modern Northern states. The many 
w^ars degraded the Northmen's honesty and simplicity; for- 
eign corruption, deceit, and luxury were introduced. The 
old religion had lost its force. Many Vikings asserted that 
they believed in nothing, save their own strength. The more 


prudent men did not believe in the old gods. Harold the 
Fairhaired, of Norway, acknowledged only one suoreme 
being in heaven, the creator of the universe and of mauKind. 
The attention of the Roman church had been directed 
towards the North by the atrocities of the Vikings, and she 
sent missionaries thither. The men who had been a terror 
to Christendom, and the savage -olunderers of Europe, be- 
came sons of Mother Rome. It is true that they never were 
very obedient children, and they took the first opportunity 
offered to be their own masters, yet something had been 
accomplished. The Viking age ceased, partly because many 
of the boldest, the bravest, the most independent, and the 
most turbulent had settled in foreign lands; leaving the weak, 
the cowards, and the contented at home, who either did not 
care or did not dare to attack foreign countries, which were 
now to a great extent defended by their former compatriots; 
partly because the people in the Scandinavian countries had, 
at least in name, become Christianized and bowed to the dic- 
tates of a pope, who now opened a new field for their bar- 
barity, and gave them a new employment for their swords 
— ^namely, the crusades; partly because at home the internal 
disputes, conflicts of principles, and the struggles connected 
with the formation of new states, kept the Northmen busy 
with their own affairs. 

From the eleventh to the sixteenth century Catholicism 
swayed the religious faith of the North. There was, consid- 
ering the times, a great deal of advance and contact with the 
more highly civilized nations of the South; yet rude, savage 
manners were in general practice, and Odin, in many places, 
was still worshiped. During the greater part of the four- 


teenth and fifteenth centuries Denmark, Norway, and Sweden 
were united under one government. But their history is 
merely a record of internal strife, war, and bloodshed. Den- 
mark, which by means of its superior civilization was 
the acknowledged leader, became the seat of the govern- 
ment, but the unwise and cruel Danish kings created, 
by their bloody acts, a hatred between the Scandinavian 
people, which even the time between then and now has been 
tmable to eradicate. Guided by popular leaders the Swedish 
peasants rebelled successfully twice, and Sweden separated 
forever from Denmark in 1521, while Norway for about four 
hundred years remained virtually a province of Denmark. 

Ever since the first part of the sixteenth century Luther- 
ism has been the national religion of the Scandinavian coun- 
tries, and a hundred years later the famous Gustavus Adol- 
phus became the prime defender of Protestantism, intellect- 
ual freedom, and German liberty. The rebellions of the com- 
mon people of Sweden in the fifteenth and sixteenth centur- 
ies, during the Kalmar Union, gained for them a great influ- 
ence and a confidence in their own strength which they have 
never since ceased to exercise upon the national affairs. In 
Denmark, on the contrary, the peasants became almost 
slaves of the great landowners. But since 1849 the Danes 
have virtually enjoyed full universal male suffrage, which 
none of the other two Northern countries possess. * Yet the 
king of Denmark has a greater veto-power than the king 
of Sweden-Norway; consequently the people of the former 
country have, in reality, less political rights than those of 
the two latter. In Norway nature has divided the country 
into great valleys; each valley managed its own local affairs; 

*In Norway the suffrage was greatly extended ia 1808. 


the common people knew and cared nothing about the 
Danish rulers or the doings of the world, and retained their 
personal independence. In Denmark and Sweden feudalism, 
aristocracy, and patriotism became more general than in 
Norway. It is only in this century that the Norwegians 
have in any sense indicated a desire for nationalization; since 
1814, however, — when a very liberal constitution w^as adopt- 
ed, and Norway was separated from Denmark and joined 
with Sweden — they have, perhaps, had a stronger national 
spirit, and certainly possessed more political freedom than 
either of the other two Northern people. 

The most prominent of the characteristics of the Viking 
was his strong individuality. His loveforfreedom, his desire 
for personal independence, amounted to a passion. He w^ould 
endure the rigid climate of the north, the burning sun of the 
south. He would sleep beneath no other roof than the arch 
of heaven, use bark for bread, drink rain-water as a bever- 
age, make the forest his habitation, and have the w^ild beasts 
for his companions. But he would never give up one inch of 
his rights as a free man. The people of the classical countries 
were free men, because they belonged to a powerful and free 
state; they boasted of their citizenship. The Northman was 
a free man because he was a man, he boasted of himself and 
the deeds he performed. The same passion for freedom has 
run through the whole Scandinavian race from the earliest 
time to the present day. A great portion of the Vikings left 
their native lands because they refused to submit to a 
superior chief. No king or ruler has been able, for any length 
of time, to be the absolute master of the Scandinavian peo- 
ple. No foreign nation has been powerful enough to subjugate 


them. Sweden and Denmark have dethroned their obstinate 
monarchs, Norway dared to draw the sword against Europe 
and demand national independence. The Scandinavians 
were the last people who submitted to the Catholic yoke; 
they were the first to cast it off. Today the Swedish-Nor- 
wegian and Danish kings have as little authority and power 
as any rulers in Christendom. To be free and independent 
has always been the greatest ambition of everj'- true North- 

The second characteristic feature of our savage ances- 
tors is courage. Bravery, however, sometimes turned into 
a fierceness that could hardly be distinguished from in- 
sanity. War was their profession. They hunted men as 
well as wild beasts, but prefered men who possessed some 
kind of valuable property. " For they deemed it a disgrace 
to acquire by sweat what they might obtain by blood." 
And whether we wander with the Goths when they plunder 
and destroy Rome, or sail with the Danes and Norwegians 
w^hen they dethrone English kings and humble proud French 
monarchs, or live in the camps of the Swedes when Gustavus 
Adolphus and Charles the Tw^elfth dictate terms to popes 
and emperors, or accompany the Northern immigrants when 
they clear the dense forests of Wisconsin and subdue the 
wild prairies of Dakota, we find that they all excelled in en- 
durance, heroism, and courage. In fact the Scandinavian 
warriors have been so noted for their fearlessness that they 
have conquered by the very terror of their names. Honor 
on earth and salvation in heaven, joy in this life and happi- 
ness in the next, could only, according to their religion, be 
gained by physical, brutal prowess. Their doctrine was 


that only the brave Avarriors who died a violent death were 
in the next life entitled to associate with the gods, fight in 
the celestial abode, enjoythe companionship of young maids, 
drink wine, and eat pork. 

Stubbornness, Srmness, and determination are qualities 
which the follovcer of Odin has been largely blessed with . To 
him no defeat was final. Failure meant only delay. He over- 
came all opposition, conquered every obstacle, defied every dif- 
ficulty. Mountains, oceans, deserts, rivers, mustnot hinder his 
purpose. Charles the Twelfth during his childhood examined 
two plans. Under one plan, which showed how the Turks 
had taken a town in Hungary from the emperor, were written 
these words : "The Lord hath given it to me, and the Lord 
hath taken it from me; blessed be the name of the Lord." 
After the young prince had read this, he wrote under the 
other plan, which showed how the Swedes had taken Riga 
about a century before: "The Lord hath given it to me, and 
the devil shall not take it from me." Charles the Twelfth 
was a good representative of Scandinavian stubbornness. 

Besides being independent, stubborn, and courageous the 
old Viking was, on the whole, honest and truthful, but terribly 
revengeful. Mercy seldom entered his harsh breast. He 
never forgave an ofiense. "He had a sense of honor which 
led him to sacrifice his life rather than his word." A promise 
once given, either to a friend or an enemy, had to be carried 
out unconditionally. Yet deception and cunning might be 
practiced in war, but the highest honor was bestowed upon 
those who were open and frank towards their enemies, kind 
and merciful towards the weak and those who sought pro- 
tection. Deception and cunning they never tolerated 


among each other. One of the noblest characteristics 
of the Northman was the brotherly union which he entered 
into with a friend or antagonist whom he could not conquer 
or subdue. This union, which was the most sacred that 
could be entered into, was effected by opening each other's 
veins, mixingtheir blood, and taking anoath that they would 
share each other's joy and sorrow in this life, and revenge 
each other's death. 

Hospitality w^as an essential part of the North- 
men's religion. There was a kind of unwritten social la-w 
which compelled every person to entertain, to the best of 
his ability, the time not being limited, and free of charge, 
anyone, either his best friend or his worst enemy, who should 
ask or be in need thereof. And no guest needed to fear to be 
molested or imposed upon. This custom of hospitality is 
yet to a great extent practiced in the rural districts of the 
Scandinavian countries. 

The Northmen had a higher respect for women than 
most heathen nations. It is true that they bought their 
wives of their fathers-in-law. The Romans sometimes stole 
their wives. But after the bargain had been once made 
the women were generally treated with respect and dignity, 
and their place in the house was that of free beings, not 
slaves. The men were attached to home and family, and, of 
course, enjoyed the wine and the feast. 

It is true that civilization has changed their manners, cus- 
toms, mode of thinking, ideas of right and wrong, and to 
some extent even their appearance. Yet at bottom the Scan- 
dinavians of today are the same as their ancestors were a 
thousand years ago. "Civilization," says Carlyle, "is only 


a wrappage through which the savage nature bursts infernal 
as ever." 

The diverse influences of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden 
have developed different characteristics of the people in the 
respective countries. But the people of the northern part of 
Sweden differ more from the inhabitants of southern Sweden 
than the latter do from those who live on the Danish 
islands — ^the last tw^o having a very fair complexion, being 
the purest descendants of the Goths; the former are often as 
dark as Frenchmen, which is also the case with many Nor- 
w^egians, and those residing in Danish Jutland. 

The Danish islanders and the southern Swedes in par- 
ticular, and all the Danes in general, are open and frank, easy 
to become acquainted with, polite to strangers, not specially 
witty, but refined and polished in their intercourse with 
other people. They are industrious, frugal, peaceable, and 
possess a great amount of push, energy, and business shrewd- 
ness. They are not so much of agitators and extremists as 
the Norwegians, nor as aristocratic and conservative as the 
northern Swedes, but a combination of both. In business 
they are democratic, in social affairs they prefer the class dis- 
tinction. Both in politics and commerce they are conserva- 
tive. Risky speculations, and radical reforms are repugnant 
to their very nature. They will answer you by yea and nay, 
but prefer the ifs and huts. Their motto is; "In the sight 
of our Lord all men are 'SmManningar.' " This part of the 
North is by far the most populous and wealthy; the peo- 
ple are more business-like and cosmopolitan in their ideas 
than any other Scandinavians. In their social intercourse 
they pay less attention to the form than the substance; thev 


are less earnest, but more courteous than the Norwegians. 
They have been called the Germans of the North. 

A northern Swede, and especially a Stockholmer, is re- 
served, hard to get acquainted with, conservative, but above 
all, an aristocrat. He is proud of his country, its history, 
and himself. Business is not in his line. He is the poet, wit, 
historian, statesman, philosopher, and patriot. He must 
dress well, comply rigorously with the latest rules of eti- 
quette, and drink the most expensive wine. He has a large 
assortment of bows, bobs, courtesies, and hat-liftings, vary- 
ing according to the age, sex, condition, and class distinc- 
tion. The class distinction is greater and more varied in Swe- 
den than in any of the other Scandinavian countries. The 
northern Swedes have been called the Frenchmen of the North. 

The Norwegians are less ceremonious than the Danes or 
Swedes, as no class distinction exists among them; they treat 
strangers w^ith a certain kind of cold courtesy, and do not ap- 
pear to be anxious to make anybody's acquaintance. They 
are independent, somewhat haughty, radical, progressive, ex- 
treme, and above all, Norwegians. Religious, political, and 
social changes must not be hindered, but promoted. They 
are more earnest and turbulent than any of the other 
Scandinavian people, but lack that smoothness and courtesy 
which the Danes especially master with great perfection. 
They are bold sailors and daring adventurers, resembling 
more than anyone else the old Vikings. The Norwegians 
have been called the Englishmen of the North. 

These different characteristics of the Northmen are, of 
course, as has always been the case, largely due to "The 
climate, the soil, and the general character of the countries." 


The southern part of Sweden, and Denmark are largely pro- 
ductive prairies, where the climate is rather even the whole 
year round; no great changes occur in the seasons to compel 
the people to make any extraordinary exertions. The coun- 
try is rich, productive, and thickly settled; consequently, 
social and financial intercourse is so frequent that the 
people out of necessity become courteous, refined, enterpris- 
ing, and broad-mined. This part of the North was first civi- 
lized and Christianized. Later, the introduction of feudal- 
ism and the enslavement of the peasants could easily be ac- 
complished here, vs-here, unlike Norway and northern 
Sweden, no great mountain walls and deep fjords defended 
the weak against the encroachment of the strong. But the 
same European influence which in the middle ages compelled 
these people to submit to the spirit of the times, has at pres- 
ent made them the broadest and most cosmopolitan of all 
the Northmen. 

In the northern part of Sweden nature is stern, the win- 
ters are severe, existence must be obtained by hard toil, and 
activity becomes a necessity. It was the brave people from 
Dalame w^ho in olden times often insisted upon their rights 
of free men, and twice enforced their demands by the sword. 
It is due to the population of northern Sweden that she 
has one of the most brilliant histories in Christendom, and 
that the peasants have never, as was the case in Denmark, 
been chained to the soil, but have always exercised a great in- 
fluence upon the political affairs . But the grand careers of Gus- 
tavus Adolphus and the Charleses have had a tendency to 
make the Swedish people proud, which is but natural, for few 
countries, and certainly neither Denmark nor Norway has 


such a renowned history. The nearness of Russia, French 
influence, and a brilliant history have been the chief agencies 
in making the Swedes a conservative, a polite, and an aris- 
tocratic nation. "Sweden," a Dane says, "is the one of the 
three kingdoms which, according to its whole history and 
present position, is called upon to take theleadership in allfor- 
eign Scandinavian politics. The nation has still a vivid 
memory of its participation in the great European strifes in the 
days of the Gustaves and the Charleses, and takes continually 
the greatest interest in all great political questions. That 
country has, furthermore, what the other two kingdoms have 
not, a class especially adopted to be the bearers of such a 
policy. It cannot be denied that the great foreign questions 
are the most difficult to grapple with for the democracies. 
Sweden, more than Norway and Denmark, has something of 
an able national aristocracy. Norway has no noblemen at 
all, and the few in Denmark are too fresh from absolute gov- 
ernment, and it seems also — although some of them are very 
w^ealthy— that they are hardly to the same extent as in 
Sweden, interested in the economic life of the country. 
While in Denmark we only find few names like those of 
Moltke, Bille, and Frijs, prominent in its foreign politics; 
in Sweden we still find a number of names from the great 
European wars— skjolds, svards, hjelms, stjernas, kronas 
(or all the names ending in words as shield, sword, | helmet, 
star, crown, etc.) — as leaders in agriculture, mining, banking, 
or other important interests of the country. Nor can it be 
denied that such a class, as a rule, has a better understand- 
ing of the great questions than a pure democracy of peas- 
ants or of workingmen in the cities." 


In Norway "The ocean roars along its rock-bound coast, 
and during the long, dark winter the storms howl and rage, 
and hurl the waves in white showers of spray against the 
sky. The Aurora Borealis flashes like a huge shining 
fan over the northern heavens, and the stars glitter with 
keen frosty splendor." The many deep cut valleys, protected 
by mountains and fjords, are by nature independent princi- 
palities. Even when the country was a province of Denmark 
each valley governed its own local affairs. The Norwegians 
are, like the elements that surround them, daring, indepen- 
dent, radical, and turbulent. 

An educated Danish-American speaks about the Scandi- 
navians at home in the following manner: "If we look for 
the differences in character between the Scandinavians and 
the Anglo-Saxons, we find that our countrymen, with all 
their solid qualities, are lacking in that energy which prob- 
ably, more than anything else, characterizes the English and 
American nations. The average Scandinavian has at bot- 
tom a good deal of the same nature as the Anglo-Saxon. 
He is rather cold and taciturn. Southern people even find a 

certain kind of brutality in his nature, but they admire his 
strength of character. Outward, as well as inward, the 
Scandinavian and the Anglo-Saxon are probably more alike 
than men of other nationalities. It is only w^hen it comes to 
activity that the Scandinavians fall back compared w^ith the 
pushing and enterprising Anglo-Saxons. This difierence has 
not always existed. Energy, individuality, and love of free- 
dom were just as characteristic of the old inhabitants of the 
Scandinavian north as they are at present of the English 
speaking race, especially in the greatest period of their his- 


tory, that of the Vikings, when the Normans, Danes, and 
Swedes conquered half of Europe, and the Danish blood on 
French soil, the Normans of Normandy, instituted the great- 
est development of the mediaeval epoch. 

"But the old Scandinavians did not keep up this great 
evolution of force at home, whether this was due to the mol- 
lifying influence of Christianity, or to the destruction of the 
small independent communities by the larger kingdoms, or 
to both together which ended the old life of continuous fight- 
ing. The northern empire of Canute the Great, as well as the 
later of the Valdemars, were even more short lived forma- 
tions than the Prankish empire; and at no later period of 
their history have the Scandinavians been able to make any 
great extension of their power. They have developed a re- 
spectable civilization, but no great enterprise, and they are 
not counted among the leading nations of the world. Only 
the poet can now sing, 'Again shall the glorious race of the 
North lead to victory the freedom of nations.' In actual life 
they are at present a more modest people. 

"There is certainly in this respect a great difference be- 
tween the three Scandinavian nations. The Swedes have 
formerly been more aptto go to extremes. Although they are 
not lacking in any of the more solid qualities of the Danes 
and Norwegians, they have in their composition more of the 
French elan than their brethren; and they have at least a 
certain kind of pushing energy. We shall not attempt to de- 
cide whether this is due to the difference in climate — there 
being in Sweden more of the stirring, continental difference 
between the seasons, more frequent changes from heat to 
cold than in Denmark or Norway; or to the accidental his- 


toric dcTelopment which connected Sweden, more than Den, 
mark-Norway, with general European politics; or, finally, 
to the old difiference in race between the remarkably gifted 
people of the Svear north of the great Swedish lakes, and the 
Goths and other Scandinavian tribes farther south. The 
Danes are certainly a people of extreme moderation. They 
are unbearably conservative in business, where they work 
respectably, but seldom exert themselves very much. In 
their religion they rarely show much zeal, although, as a 
rule, on the other hand, they are far from being professed 
free-thinkers. In art, their national school copies with truth- 
fulness the characteristics of the country and of the people, 
but lacks all brilliancy in colors and in ideas. Molesworth, 
an English ambassador of two hundred years ago, in des- 
cribing the country and the people, speaks of their extraor- 
dinary moderation in virtues as in vices; and thus it certainly 
cannot be their absolute government which has produced all 
this respectable mediocrity in the nation. The temperate 
climate makes one day like another, and their isolated loca- 
tion allows the people to live their own life free from the 
great European movements. The Norwegians have more 
earnestness, as their soil and climate are harder and more 
severe than the fertile Danish country and the moderate 
Danish climate. But their location has kept them still more 
apart from general European matters, and their greatness 
as a seafaring nation can hardly keep up with the changes 
of the times. It was in the former Danish-Norwegian state 
largely due to the Norwegians that the sea was called the 
'Path of Danes to praise and might.' Lately came the 
epoch of steam, which made even navigation a question of 


machinery and money rather than of personal prowess and 
ability. Already when navigation and commerce went over 
distant parts of the world and through greater seas, the very 
location of England and Holland gave them an advantage 
over the natives of the North. Nature contributed its part, 
and together with free government made the Anglo-Saxons the 
real successors of the Scandinavian Vikings in enterprise and 
energy. Today this natural advantage in the location of 
Great Britain is again neutralized by the marvelous develop- 
ment of the railway systems of the world; and not only the 
political preponderance, but also the new changes of com- 
munication by land, that is making Germany — and especially 
the Prussians, these able German colonists on Slav territory 
— ^the successful competitor of England. This, too, is one of 
the main causes of the greatness of the United States; and it 
is especially — as everybody knows — the railways w^hich at 
this moment make the great American West the main field of 
development of the whole Teutonic race. This is now, more 
than any other part of the world, what in olden times the 
northern and western seas were in Europe. Here there is 
room for the individuality and energy of our race ; for the 
free development of co-operation of all human forces. 

"This feature of moderation, so prominent in the charac- 
ters of the present Scandinavians, also shows itself in their 
internal policy. Honest administration and justice are 
characteristics of their national life." 

In a letter to Prof. Hjame, of Upsala, Sweden — pub- 
in The North in 1893 — Bjonstjeme Bjomson characterizes 
the Norwegians in this manner: "The Norwegians are, 
in my opinion, not that people in the North which is 


least gifted or has the weakest character. But its fate 
has brought it to such a pass that it has not had 
enough cohesive power, not enough sense of national 
honor; therefore its aims are not far reaching. It is not so 
grand as the Swedish people (not so flippant either, per- 
haps). It is not so industrious and faithful as the Danish 
people (not so zealous either, perhaps). It takes hold and 
lets go, it lets go and takes hold of persons and aims. It 
will exert itself to the utmost; but it demands speedy and 
signal success; its ambition is not so great as its vanity. 
Hot-headed, impetuous in small things, it is patient in great 
ones, so that with all its faults it has talents for a noble 
deed, provided the conditions are present. But the condi- 
tion of conditions is the right of self-determination in 
order that it may concentrate its bias for adventure and its 
talents in forming new things and, if possible, in making 
these an example for others. The Norwegian people must 
needs take the lead in certain things. If its craving for 
honor and its character can be marshaled in a spontaneous 
exertion for the accomplishment of a certain purpose, you 
may see that it is capable of something, and the North shall 
be benefited by us." 

It is, however, not fair to blame the Scandinavians at 
home for their lack of energy and enterprise. Nature is 
against them. The countries, on the whole, are barren and 
unproductive, the opportunities for safe investments are 
scarce, and a speculator after having once failed will find it 
extremely difficult to re-establish himself in business. Con- 
sequently the people become conservative in business, as well 
as in politics and in religion. Diligence and frugality has to 


be adopted, not as a matter of choice, perhaps, but as a 
matter of necessity. In the United States the country is 
new, undeveloped, and rich; a failure, or even several, can be 
amended, vrhich induces us to become bold speculators, and 
daring advocates of new social, religious, and political 
theories; changes and excitement become a passion; every- 
thing is conducive to activity; the air we breathe is commer- 
cial. In the North all this is reversed. Yet it would be 
wrong to accuse the people of sluggishness. For whoever 
has seen Stockholm, hewed out of the rocks, or Kristiania — 
both located nearly a thousand miles farther north than the 
northern boundary line of the United States, and having 
about the same latitude as the central part of Alaska and 
the extreme southern portion of Greenland — must admit 
that they possess all the energy and enterprise which nature 
permits them to exercise. Taking into consideration the 
harshness of the climate and the barrenness of the soil in the 
greater part of the Scandinavian countries, no one can deny 
that the people have shown more push and perseverence in 
supporting themselves by cultivating these districts than any 
of the other nations — all of which, as a general thing, have 
been more favored by nature. It is not difficult to live in 
splendor when one has plenty, but it takes skill and prudence 
to manage to make a comfortable livelihood out of a small 
income. The Scandinavians at home have not only sup- 
plied their physical wants, but are among the most civi- 
lized nations on earth. Their lower schools — the bulwark of 
a nation— are excellent, and certainly better than the much- 
boastedof American common schools. Denmark, Norway, 
and Sweden are among the five European states, which vir- 


tually have no illiterate classes of people. In Russia only 21 
persons out of a hundred can read and write, in Italy 58, in 
Hungary 61, in Austria 75, in Ireland 76, in the United 
States 78, in Great Britain 91, in Holland 92, in Germany 
99, and in the Scandinavian countries 99%. 

It is true that the people of the North are somewhat in- 
clined tow^ards drunkenness, and crimes and vices are, of 
course, as is the case in every country, committed. Yet in 
the Northern countries, where large cities can hardly be said 
to exist, where the poorer classes of the community are 
scattered through the farming districts and not congregated 
in dirty quarters of great cities, morality naturally stands 
high. And whoever has, by actual observation, compared 
the facial expressions of the lower strata of humanity in the 
country districts of the North with those of the same grade 
in the large European and American cities, must certainly 
come to the conclusion that the former are morally so far 
superior to the latter that no comparison can properly be 
made between them. 

History of the Scandinavian Immigration. 


The Icelanders discovered America, as is well known, about 
the year 1000, and the Scandinavians have, in all probability, 
emigrated to the United States ever since the country began 
to be colonized. For example, Hans Hansen Bergen, of Ber- 
gen, Norway, came with the Dutch emigrants to New York 
as early as 1633, and became the ancestor of a large Ameri- 
can family by that name. In the Dutch colonial and church 
records he w^as variously called Hans Hansen von Bergen, 
Hans Hansen de Noorman, etc. He married a Dutch lady, 
was quite a noted character in those early days, and his 
namehas, perhaps, been mixed up with the supposed Danish- 
Norwegian colony at Bergen, N. J., which should, according 
to some questionable authorities, have been founded there in 
1624. Although there is every reason, and some historical 
evidence for assuming that there were Danes and Norwegians 
in America at that time, they were not numerous enough 
to establish a distinct settlement. 

The weU-kno wn Swedish colony was founded at Delaware 
River in 1638 , and a Swedish clergyman preached in his native 



tongue in Philadelphia as late as 1823. United States min- 
ister to Sweden-Norway, W. W. Thomas, writes: "New 
Sweden as a distinct political organization under the Swedish 
flag, existed but for seventeen years. Yet, brief as was its 
life, this little colony occupies a memorable place in American 
history, and has left a lasting impress upon this continent. 
Most of the Swedish colonists continued to live onthebanks 
of the Delaware, and their descendants have ever been, and 
are today, among the most influential and honored citizens 
of the three states of Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New 
Jersey. The raan who, as a member of the Continental 
Congress, gave the casting vote of Pennsylvania in 
favor of the Declaration of Independence, was a Swede 
of the old Delaware stock — John Morton. And when 
the civil w^ar burst upon the land, it was a descendant of 
New Sweden, the gallant Robert Anderson, who, with but a 
handful of men, calmly and bravely met the first shock of 
the rebellion at Fort Sumter. Surely, love of freedom, and 
patriotism, and state-craft, and valor came over to America, 
not only in the May£ower, but also in that Swedish ship, 
the Kalmar Nyckel. ' ' 

The brave Captain Bering, a Dane, entered the service of 
Peter the Great, and discovered the strait which bears his 
name, in the first part of the eighteenth century. It was on 
his discovery that Russia based its claim to Alaska, which 
afterwards was bought by the United States. The early 
Swedish immigrants in this century found countrymen of 
theirs in Charleston, S. C, who had come to this country 
during the previous century. 

In the first year, 1820, when the United States com- 


menced to record the number of immigrants who arrived, 
20 are registered from Denmark and only three from Sweden- 
Norway. It is a remarkable fact that the total sum of the 
Danish emigrants from 1820 to 1840 equals in number the 
total sum of both the Norwegians and Swedes during the 
same time; yet the Danish immigration has never been 
very heavy, reaching its maximum of nearly 12,000 in 1882, 
when, on the other hand, 30,000 Norwegians and 65,000 
Swedes arrived. Since, the immigration of all the Scandinavi- 
an countries has declined. The Norwegians never exceeded 
a thousand a year until 1843, the Swedes not until 1852, 
and the Danes not until 1857. 

It seems that the early Danish immigrants in this coun- 
try and the Swedish colonists at Delaware River should 
have been the means of spreading reliable information in re- 
gard to America in their respective countries, and thus be- 
come factors in making the emigration from Denmark and 
Sweden much earlier than from Norway. But it is just the 
reverse. The Danes, however, have been too busy in re-con- 
structing their affairs at home, and on that account have, ' 
probably, been prevented from participating in the move- 
ment towards the West. The common people in Sweden 
knew nothing about the colony at Delaware River, the rela- 
tion between these settlers and their father-land had virtu- 
ally ceased before the present century commenced. Such ad- 
venturers as Kleng Person came in direct contact with the 
laboring classes of Norway, and thus hastened the American 
fever in that country. The Kleng Persons of Denmark and 
Sweden appeared on the scene much later. Nor must we for- 
get that before the middle of this century a citizen of Sweden 


was required to have a special permit from the king and 
pay three hundred kronor* before he could leave the 
country, while the constitution of Norway granted that 
freedom to every man. It must also be remembered that 
the conservatism of the Danes and Swedes has somewhat 
hindered their westward march, while the passion for radical 
changes among the Norwegians has been the means of pro- 
moting their emigration. 

The emigrants of today have a great deal of trouble with 
their baggage, steamship agents, hotel runners, and impos- 
ers of all kinds. Yet their annoyance and inconveniences are 
small in comparison with the misery which the early pio- 
neers passed through. Before the middle of this century no 
regular steamers plowed between the North and this coun- 
try, no Western railroads existed. The Scandinavian emi- 
grants rode after a horse team to a seaport at home, where 
they often had to wait for weeks before a chance could be se- 
cured to embark for England, France, or Germany, where 
they again had to rest in patience for a while until a sailing- 
vessel brought them across the stormy Atlantic. Some- 
times several emigrants clubbed together and hired or 
bought a small, old ship; others again took passage on a 
merchant-vessel. Generally the journey lasted from two to 
six months. Provisions often failed, sickness and suffering 
always occurred, and more than once starvation and hun- 
ger stared them in the face. Prom New York they generally 
proceeded to the Northwest by slow boats up the Erie 
Canal and continued the tedious journey on the Great Lakes. 

"In early times migrations consisted of movements of 
whole tribes in a career of conquests, and differed radically 

*Ia "Sjelfbingrafi", p. 10, by Kev. S, B. Newman, It is asserted that emigrants had to 
giye bonds for the amonnt mentioned. 


from emigration, which is a movement of individuals." The 
"wandering of the Goths and other barbarians at the time of 
the fall of Rome, and to a certain extent the conquests of the 
Vikings, were migrations. The early colonies of America, for 
example, the Swedish settlement at the Delaware River in 
the first part of the seventeenth century, were not private 
affairs, but national, under the direction of the respective 
governments; they also differed from emigration. Thegreat 
stream of human beings who have sought and seek homes 
on the American continent and in Australia in the nineteenth 
century are emigrants. But if migration, colonization, and 
emigration have differed in their nature, the causes which 
have lead the Scandinavians, and to a great extent other 
people, to participate in these movements have always been 
the same. 

What have been the chief motives and main causes 
which have induced the one-and-a-half million Scandinavians 
to exchange their northern homes and settle on the wild 
prairies and in the thick forests of the Western continent in 
the nineteenth century? First: The Northern countries, 
on the whole, are barren and unproductive. The wealth, and 
especially the best part of thelaud, has been, toagreatextent, 
concentrated in a few hands. And although the Scandinavian 
countries in many places are not thickly populated, yet the 
land being poor, unequally divided, and not always culti- 
vated to its fiillest capacity, a large portion of the intelligent, 
industrious, and prudent classes have been compelled to drag 
out their lives in poverty. The idea of dependence was repug- 
nant to their very nature. But revolution against the 
powers that be and the property of other people was al- 


most equally objectionable, for civilization has made tlie 
fierce and turbulent Northmen law-abiding people. Yet 
revolutionary movements, on a small scale, of the laboring 
classes were attempted during the first part of this century, 
both in Denmark and Sweden. In Denmark these move- 
ments of the people resulted in important changes. Prop- 
erty was revolutionized. The greater part of the land be- 
fore 1849 belonged to the large estates; the laboring people 
and tenants, being bound to the soil, were virtually slaves 
of the great land owners; but since most of the land has 
passed into the hands of small and middle-sized farms; and 
the people now exercise a great influence upon all affairs per- 
taining to the government. This reconstruction of Den- 
mark has, no doubt, hindered the Danish emigration, which 
before 1880 did not reach 5,000 in number a year, and has 
never exceeded 12,000 annually. In southern Sweden, how- 
ever, an attempted revolution failed totally; some of the 
leaders got drunk when action was necessary. But on the 
whole little has been attempted or accomplished by revolu- 
tionary movements to better the economical conditions of 
the Scandinavians at home. Nor can it be denied that feud- 
alism, a strong central government, a mistaken idea of pat- 
riotism, the great distinction between the classes, the religi- 
ous belief that the superiors must be obeyed in all things, 
and the continuous preaching of contentment by the clergy 
to the masses, had induced the descendants of the independ- 
ent Vikings to submit slavishly to'the condition of things. 
But the spirit of freedom was not dead, it only slept. Kin- 
dle the spark and the old Viking blood will again boil with, 
fire of passion and seek for adventure, conquests, and liber- 


ty. And when the report reached the North that beyond 
the Atlantic Ocean, freedom of conscience, liberty of thought, 
and, above all, independence in life, could be attained by 
honest toil, struggle, and self-sacrifice, they were at once 
ready to embrace the opportunity. But as a people they 
move slowly, 'they are more conservative than radical; con- 
sequently their emigration began late, which, however, was 
largely due to the fact that no reliable information in regard 
to the Western World could reach the poorer and middle 
classes, scattered, as they are, over a large tract of terri- 
tory thinly populated. 

Secondly — A few Scandinavian sailors and adventurers had 
settled in the United States in the early part of this century. 
Some of them were educated men. In letters to relatives, 
contributions to newspapers, and, above all, by personal 
visits to their old homes, they pictured in fine colors the 
economic, social, religious, and political advantages to be 
gained in the New World. They created a sensation among 
the laboring and middle class, which has resulted in changes 
at home that maybe said to be revolutionary in theirnature. 
When Scandinavian-Americans visited the North, the people 
would travel on foot, during the cold winters, long dis- 
tances to hear their wonderful tales — some are said to have 
been a professional expert in the art of tale-telling. OIo 
Rynning's book, A True Account of America, which was 
published in Kristiania in 1839, was read by everybody. 
Gustaf Unonius, who with his wife and a few others arrived 
in America in 1841, and may be said to have given the first 
impulse to the Swedish emigration, was looked upon in 
America as a curiosity, and his letters to the press in Sweden 


created a great excitement. Col. Hans Mattson, who came 
to this country in 1851, says: "At this time the Swedes 
w^ere so little known, and Jennie Lind, on the other hand, so 
renowned in America, that the Swedes were frequently called 
Jennie Lind men." When he visited his native country in 
1868, the people flocked to see him, the servant girls drew 
lots who should wait upon him, and the one who succeeded 
in having the honor, expressed her disappointment that "He 
looked just like any other man." In the early times the 
opinions in the North regarding America differed. Class 
opposed class. The clergy, the school, the press, and the 
upper classes leagued together in opposing the whole emi- 
gration movement. The clergy maintained that to emigrate 
to a foreign country was a sin against the fourth command- 
ment : "Honor thy father and thy mother, as the Lord thy 
God commandeth thee ; that thy days may be long, and that 
it may go vrell with thee upon the land which the Lord thy 
God gi veth thee . " But these pious men omitted to mention that 
their God had brought his chosen people out of thebondage of 
Egypt. In the public schools, children were taught that to 
emigratew^asa crime against patriotism. The press ridiculed 
the whole movement and published the contributions from 
Scandinavian- Americans only as a matter of curiosity, and 
as a specimen of American mendacity. Scandinavian 
travelers, tourists, and those who had ruined their financial 
and social conditions in the old country, often went to the 
United States and described in the newspapers at home the 
sufferings and horrors which awaited the emigrants, and the 
barbarity of the American nation. Frequently these accusa- 
tions were true. In the early part of this century the emi- 


grants were swindled, defrauded, ill-treated, robbed, mur- 
dered, and even sold as slaves into the Southern states. 
According to the Constitution of Norway, which is one of 
the most liberal in Europe, those who were convicted of a 
penitentiary offense, and those who had emigrated to a foreign 
land, were put on an equal footing. To emigrate in those 
days was considered a crime by all the Northern powers. 
Henrik Wergeland wrote : 

" Did ind hvor Fyrren siiser ind 
Tor ingen Nidding vandre, 
Som har forglemt i trolost Sind 
Sit Faedreland for andre." 

Thirdly — Religious persecution and military service have 
not compelled many Northmen to leave their native lands. 
For, excepting Eric Janson's party from Sweden, few have 
emigrated on account of direct religious oppression. On the 
whole, and especially in later years when the Northern emi- 
gration has been heaviest, the religious laws of the Scandi- 
navian countries have been very liberal. But it cannot 
be denied that indirectly the religious narrowness, the un- 
favorable and unjust religious laws, have had a great in- 
fluence in promoting the movement, especially in starting it; 
yet sometimes the emigrants have mistaken law and order 
for oppression, and left their native lands on account of their 
wrong notion of liberty. Quite frequently the very opposi- 
tion of the clergy and the educated classes lead the working 
people and farmers to cast the dice in favor of the Western 

Fourthly — After the pioneer immigrants had succeeded , by 


sending letters, newspapers, and special information for em- 
igrants published by steamship and railway companies, to 
their relations and firiends in the North, but, above all, by per- 
sonal visits to their old homes, in giving a true, but sometimes 
an exaggerated, account of the condition of things in 
the United States, then the emigration assumed enormous 
proportions. It became a fashion. 

Smith, in his book Emigration and Immigration, says : 
" Emigration is sometimes spoken of as if it were simply the 
operation of an individual coolly and rationally measuring 
the advantages to be gained, and thus advancing his own 
ecconomic condition and that of the country to which he 
comes. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Emigra- 
tion proceeds now under the numerous influences, the efforts 
of steamship companies, the urging of friends and relations, 
the assistance of poor law authorities and charitable socie- 
ties, and the subtle but powerfial influence of popular delusion 
in regard to the New World." Another authority, speaking 
especially in regard to the ScandinaNian emigration, which 
Smith does not, although his assertions apply to it as well 
as to others, writes : "With a few minor exceptions the whole 
movement has been unorganized, though agents of steam- 
ship and railway companies, and even some of the states, 
have systematically worked up immigration sentiment in the 

There are certainly very few Scandinavian paupers and 
criminals -who have, as has been the practice in other 
European countries, and especially in England, been sent to 
foreign countries by the government, local communities, or 
charitable associations. Yet, in by-gone days, philanthro. 


pic societies in Sweden have paid the passage to America of 
liberated criminals. 

To sum up the causes which have induced one-and-a- 
half million Northmen to emigrate to the United States 
in the nineteenth century, the main reason has at bottom been 
the same as that which produced the Viking age, namely, ma- 
teria/ betterment. Yet, as was the case with the Northmen, 
the love for freedom and adventure, especially as the unjust 
reUgious, social, and political conditions have been rather 
oppressive to the middle and laboring classes, has, during 
the whole history of the Scandinavian emigration, been a pow- 
erful factor in promoting the movement. It was adventur- 
ers, and those who were hostile to all class distinction, that 
gave the first impulse to the movement, and may be said to 
have directed the Northern immigrants towards the North- 
west. While, as veas the custom in the heroic age of the 
ninth and tenth centuries, the spirit of the time and the fash- 
ion of the age have in latter years induced many young peo- 
ple in the Scandinavian countries to court dangers and turn 
the wheel of fortune in foreign lands. The man who dared 
to leave his native country has always been admired for his 
courage and bravery, although his motives have often been 
questioned. To emigrate has of late been looked upon as the 
proper thing to do for those who were ambitious and pos- 
sessed sufficient energy to become successful in foreign lands. 
It has always been considered a great shame to return to the 
North, even for a short visit, before a person has been suc- 
cessful abroad, and few have done it. In recent years, letters, 
newspapers, and printed informations for immigrants, which 
have been sent to relatives at home, visits of prosperous im- 


migrants to their native lands, and inumerable prepaid pass- 
age tickets "Have been the most powerful preachers of thie 
New World's advantages." 

Age, sex, and occupation prove that the Scandinavian 
immigrants are the cream of the working classes. According 
to the United States statistics, 62 per cent are males, 65 per 
cent arrive between fifteen and forty years of age, 11 per cent 
are over forty years of age, and 24 per cent are children 
under fifteen. During the years between 1881 and 1890, 
1 person out of 5,914 was a clergyman, 1 out of 5,089 a 
musician, 1 out of 7,236 a physician and surgeon, and 1 out 
of 3,074 a teacher — in other words only 1 out of 1,017 had 
a profession, while 1 out of 12 was a skilled laborer, and 
one-half of the Scandinavian immigrants w^ere either farm- 
ers, merchants, or servants. 

Nor is there any reason to assume that they change their 
occupations a great deal when they arrive in this country, for, 
according to the United States census of 1870, 1880, 1890, 
25 per cent of the Scandinavian population were engaged 
in agriculture, and 50 per cent labored at what was called 
"All classes of work." It is a notable fact that 1 out of 4 of 
every Scandinavian engages in agriculture, while only 1 out 
of 6 of the native Americans, 1 out of 7 of the Germans, and 
1 out of 12 of the Irish, follow the same profession. 

It is partly on account ol their great love and fitness for 
farming that the Scandinavians have been considered by 
nearly every American political economist to be the best im- 
migrants which the country receives. "It is," says an au- 
thority, "to the Scandinavian immigrants from Norway, 
Sweden, and Denmark, that the Northwest is largely indebt- 


ed for its marvelous development." "The Scandinavians," 
adds another, "especially, take to farming. They have suc- 
ceeded where the Americans -with better start have failed. 
They have acquired farms and now live in a state of great 
comfort. In a certain sense it is the survival of the fittest." 
A fair proportion, however, of the younger element of 
the Scandinavian immigrants pursue studies in this country, 
either at some of the Scandinavian institutions or in Ameri- 
can colleges, and later attend to the professional need of 
their countrymen. And although not very many, proporT 
tionally, of the highly educated classes emigrate; yet un- 
questionably, taken all in all, the people who exchange the 
North for the United States are, on the aggregate, mentally 
better endowed, and morally superior to those "who remain 
at home. In the first place, as a general thing, criminals, 
paupers, and idiots are cared for by the Northern govern- 
ments, and are not permitted to leave. The poor and the 
vicious classes cannot pay for their own passage, nor receive 
a ticket on credit. Cowards dare not, and fools have not 
sense enough to emigrate. It is the old story of the Vikings. 
Gathering together hap-hazzard a thousand Scandinavian 
emigrants on any vessel w^hich is destined for the United 
States and an equal number of those who remain in the 
North, and the former will, in regard to age, sex, physique, 
mental endowment, and moral purity and courage, be 
superior to the latter. Smith, the latest and one of the best 
authorities on the emigration question, says: "It is often 
the poor and degraded who have not the courage nor the 
means to emigrate. When emigration is brought about by 
the free action of a man's own mind, without extraneous 


aids or influences, it is naturally the men who have intelli- 
gence, some financial resources, energy, and ambition that 
emigrate. It requires all these to break loose from the ties 
of kindred, of neighborhood, and country, and to start out 
on a long and difficult journey. On account of that the 
best people emigrate, therefore the government objects." 
Secondly, a well school-trained man is not always the best 
naturally endowed. Besides, even educated emigrants must 
possess courage, energy, and perseverance in order to suc- 
ceed in foreign lands. It is only the liberal and broad- 
minded people of the higher classes who in any sense can ex- 
change their native customs and manners, and adopt the 
habits of other nations. It is harder, perhaps, for a cult- 
ured man, who has acquired a permanent character and 
fiixed ideas, to forget his native soil than it is for an illiterate 
person — the former's patriotism is founded on reason, the 
latter 's on sentiment. The fact that the majority of the 
educated Scandinavians at home have been hostile towards 
and not participated much in the emigration movement 
has been an important factor in hastening the Americaniza- 
tion of the Northern people. 

Those having had a home training, and especially the 
clergy, whose duties it is to guide the intellectual improve- 
ment and moral conduct of the people have generally been 
men of broad culture and liberal views.who have founded, or 
promoted, great Scandinavian-American educational insti- 
tutions, where the younger elements of the people have been 
educated, and the latter became the leaders of the Northern 
race in the New World. It is true that these institutions 
have been managed somewhat according to a different 


method than most American colleges, yet they have been, and 
are, the stepping stones towards Americanization. And it 
certainly is, from an American standpoint, far better that the 
clergy and other men of learning have been educated in Scan- 
dinavian-American schools than that they should have been 
imported — which otherwise would have been absolutely nec- 
essary — ^from the Northern countries. 

The diflFerent location of each country and the diverse 
historical connections with foreign countries have made a 
little variation in the character of the Northmen at home. 
But these differences are slight, being on the whole merely 
artificial, and can hardly be said to apply, to any great ex- 
tent at least, to the Scandinavians in this country. For the 
immigrants upon their arrival in the United States generally 
discard their artificial acquirements and begin to practice 
their natural endowments, namely : courage, determination, 
industry, frugality, and perseverance. It is remarkable how 
quickly, for example, a northern Swede will dispense with his 
elaborate system of bows, bobs, courtesies, hat-liftings, and 
adopt the practice of simpler manners ; this he often does in 
spite of himself, for quite frequently he is not a believer in the 
American simplicity of intercourse; especially is the cold and 
unceremonious business relation, which is in such contrast to 
what he has been used to, repugnant to him. Yet even on 
the streets or in the stores in Stockholm you can easily detect 
a person who has been in America, perhaps, only for six 
months; the man has been simplified. But in spite of the fact 
that the Scandinavians become quickly Americanized, only 
retaining their original boldness, frankness, and firmness, yet 
their different training shows itself in many ways. For 


example, the great political agitation whicli has been in 
operation in Norway ever since the beginning of this century, 
has created among the Norwegians a taste and ability 
for politics in which neither the Swedes nor the Danes 
can, or will not perhaps, compete with them, not even 
in this country. Between the years of 1880 and 1900 
there were, according to the United States census, from 
ten to one hundred and fifty, thousand more Swedes in 
America than Norwegians, yet during that period only one 
Swede was elected to the United States congress, while at 
the same time seven Norwegians 'had a seat in the national 
House of Representatives. It may be argued, which of 
course is true, that the Norwegian immigration is older than 
the Swedish, consequently the younger elements of the Nor- 
wegians have had a longer time and a better chance to 
become acquainted with the political machinery of the na- 
tion than their brethren ; but even granting this, it yet 
remains a fact that in Minnesota, where the immigration ol 
one nationality is just as old as the other, about 170 Nor- 
wegians and only 80 Swedes have represented their districts 
in the two legislative bodies of the state from 1857 to 1900; 
and although the population of the former has, until lately, 
outnumbered that of the latter, it is not in proportion to 
their political preponderance. Yet it must also be remem- 
bered that only 21 per cent of the Norwegians live in cities 
of over 25,000 inhabitants, where 32 per cent of the Swedes 
are to be found. The Norwegians thus scattered throughout 
the farming districts and smaller towns have a better chance 
to be elected to local offices and to the state legislature than 
those residing in large cities. The greater political activity 


of the Norwegians in comparison with the Swedes is also 
apparent by the former's greater variation in the choice oS 
political parties. Some of the best educated Scandinavian- 
Americans are Democrats, Prohibitionists, or Populists ; yet 
the great majority of the Swedes have always been, and are, 
Republicans, which is also, but to a less extent, the case with 
the Norwegians. Twoof the seven Norwegian- American con- 
gressmen w^ere elected by the Populists. 

The difference in the characters of the two people shows 
itself also, to look at it from an historical standpoint, in 
their religion. For, while the Swedish- American Lutheran 
Church has progressed smoothly, uninterruptedly, and undi- 
vided, the Norwegian-Americans have wrangled about the- 
ological dogmas, and divided Lutherism into six different 
and distinct organizations ; some of which, how^ever, have 
again been united into one body. 

The Danish immigration is more recent, consequently 
they do not stand out so prominently in political and relig- 
ious matters as the other two nationalities, but on the 
whole they resemble the Swedes in being conservative. 

Thirty -two percent of the Swedish- American population, 
twenty-three of the Danish, and twenty-one of the Norwe- 
gian, reside in cities of over 25,000 inhabitants each ; this 
does not, however, sustain the general opinion, that 
the Swedes and Danes are better business men than the 
Norwegians; but as the Danes and southern Swedes at home 
seem to have a natural instinct for financial undertakings, 
it is probably correct. 

But on the whole the difference in the character between 
the three Scandinavian- American nationalities is small find 


short-lived. After a few years residence in this country, and 
very often not even among the emigrants on board of the 
ship that brings them, can any distinction of the separate 
iMorthem nationalities be detected. In the second generation 
only the old Northmen's fearlessness, energy, and strong 
■will-power, clothed in American manners, are visible. Of 
course, the physical features often change considerably in a 
few generations. 

The Scandinavians are justly proud of their Viking age. 
The kings of Sweden have always styled themselves "King 
of the Swedes, Goths, and Wends." The Danes and Nor- 
wegians point with pride to their conquests in France, Great 
Britain, and Ireland. Prof. Worsaae says : " The greatest, 
and for general history the most important, memorials of 
the Scandinavian people are connected, as is well known, 
with the expeditions of the Normans, and the Thirty Years' 
War." It is true that Rolf, Knute the Great, and Gustavus 
Adolphus, have had, either directly or indirectly, a great in- 
fluence upon civilization. But, excepting the Thirty Years' 
War, the greatest, and for the human race the most import- 
ant, memorials of the Scandinavian people are connected 
with their discovery of, colonization in, and emigration to the 
United States. John Ericsson, the greatest Scandinavian- 
American, was more of a benefactor to humanity than either 
Rolf, or Knute the Great, or both together. (We refrain from 
mentioning other influential Scandinavian-Americans be- 
cause many of them are living at present). 'The emigrants 
coming from the narrow valleys of Norway, the mines and 
forests of Sweden, the smiling plains of Denmark, the rocky 
shores of Iceland, with hearts of oak and arms of steel. 


are building empires in this Western continent.' They have 
torn themselves away from home, country, relatives, friends, 
brothers, sisters, and parents. They have cleared prairies and 
forests, built railways, and mined the earth in a foreignland. 
They have by hard and honest toil, struggle, prudence, fru- 
gality, industry, and perseverance succeeded against adverse 
circumstances in creating comfortable homes for themselves 
on American 'soil. They have in war and peace, in commerce 
and literature, in the pulpits and legislative halls, dis- 
tinguished themselves, done their duties towards their 
adopted country, and been an honor to their native lands. 
But these peaceable and industrious emigrants from the 
North have not received the same recognition, either at 
home or abroad, as the savage and plundering Vikings. 
How long will it take before the victories of peace shall be 
more renowned than those of war ? 

The well-known Col. Hans Mattson uses the following 
language in the conclusion of his Mimien : "Yes, it is verily 
true that the Scandinavian immigrants, from the early colon- 
ists of 1638 to the present time, have famished strong hands, 
clear heads, and loyal hearts to the republic. They have 
caused the wilderness to blossom like the rose ; they have 
planted schools and churches on the hills and in the valleys ; 
they have honestly and ably administered the affairs of 
tovsrn, county, and state; they have helped to make wise 
laws for their respective commonwealths and in the halls of 
congress ; they have with honor and ability represented their 
adopted country abroad ; they have sanctified the American 
soil by their blood, shed in freedom's cause on the battlefields 
of the revolutionary and civil wars ; and though proud of 


their Scandinavian ancestry, they love America and Ameri- 
can institutions as deeply and as truly as do the descendents 
of the Pilgrims, the starry emblem of liberty meaning as 
much to them as to any other citizen. 

"Therefore, the Scandinavian-American feels a certain 
sense of ownership in the glorious heritage of American soil, 
withits rivers, lakes, mountains, valleys, woods, and prairies, 
and in all its noble institutions ; and he feels that the bless- 
ings which he enjoys are not his by favor or sufferance, but 
by right; by moral as well as civil right. For he took pos- 
session of the w^ilderness, endured the hardships of the 
pioneer, contributed his full share toward the grand results 
accomplished, and is in mind and heart a true and loyal 
American citizen." 

But not only have the Northern immigrants created per- 
manent monuments in the New World, but they have also 
exercised a great reflex influence upon the affairs of the Old 
World. For, while Gustavus Adolphus defended Protestant- 
ism and German liberty, which resulted in the intellectual 
and religious freedom of the world, it w^as Swedish-Ameri- 
cans who introduced in Sweden the faith of the Baptists in 
about 1850, and Methodism fifteen years later,* and were 
largely instrumental in securing that religious toleration in 
their native land which their ancestors had fought for in 
foreign countries. A Norwegian- American introduced Meth- 
odism in his native country in 1849, and Danish-Americans 
commenced to preach that doctrine in Denmark shortly 
after. It certainly shows a great amount of bigotry, 
narrowness, and ignorance, not to say villainy, of the 
governments at home, that Baptists should, on account 

*The -work of the English Methodists in Sweden in the early part of the nineteenth 
century was interrupted, but wai resumed by bwedish-Americans in 1865. 


of proselyting, < be sent out of the kingdom by the civil 
authorities of Sweden as late as in 1851; that Norwegian 
Lutheran clergymen should endeavor, by force, to prevent 
the Methodists from worshiping God according to their 
own conscience, and bury their dead according to their own 
rituals, as late as in 1860; or that Swedish ministers should 
refuse to grant the permission of burying a Methodist pas- 
tor, who was a citizen of this country, in the state cemetery 
because, they said, he had beena /a/sepropAet, and the widow 
was compelled to appeal to higher authorities in the name 
of the American nation, as late as in 1867. Nor w^ere these 
atrocities simply the result, or relic, of barbarian laws, for 
until forty, or even twenty years ago, religious intolerance 
was the accepted theory and common practice of the major- 
ity of both the educated classes and the masses in the Scan- 
dinavian countries. It must, however, be remembered that 
the clergy of the state church thought it was their religious 
duty to prevent w^hat they deemed to be false religions to 
be imposed upon the people under their charge. Often the 
missionaries w^ho represented the new sects were uneducated 
men whose procedure was unwise. For example, the Jan- 
sonites in Sweden publicly burned all religious books, except 
the Bible. This, of course, was unlawful and they had to 
sufferthe consequences. But the numerous letters and news- 
papers which the immigrants have sent to their relatives at 
home, and the frequent visits of Scandinavian-Americans to 
their native lands, have had an immense influence in 
moulding the public sentiment in favor of more political, 
social, and religious freedom. And public sentiment not 
only governs republics, but even shakes monarchs on their 


thrones, and bends the will of bishops. Today the Northmen 
at home enjoy, virtually, full religious freedom and possess a 
great amount of political liberty — blessings which they 
ought, at least to a great extent, to be thankful for to their 
countrymen across the Atlantic Ocean. 

The Scandinavian-Americans, however, have not con- 
fined themselves to the political, social, and religious con- 
version of the old folks at home, their influence has also been 
of a more material nature. About fifty per cent of the 
Scandinavian emigrants arrive by prepaid passage tickets 
secured by relatives here. During each year of 1891 and 
1892 — according to the estimate of A. E. Johnson of the 
great emigration firm, A. E. Johnson and Company — six- 
and-a-half milHon dollars in actual cash was sent from 
this country to the North by well-to-do immigrants to their 
relatives. It is impossible, however, to arrive at anything like 
a correct conclusion in regard to what amount of wealth in 
the shape of presents, prepaid passage tickets, and actual 
cash which Scandinavian-Americans have transferred from 
the United States to the North. Smith, in his excellent book 
Emigration and Immigration, estimates that each immi- 
grant sends to his native country $35, and from 1820-99, 
according to United States statistics, not far from 1,500,000 
Northmen have settled in this country. If each of them re- 
turned $35, the total sum transfered from here to the Scan- 
dinavian countries, would, during that period, amount to 

Each immigrant, however, brings with him a certain 
amount of capital, which Smith estimates to average from 
$68 to $100, but in 1898 the Scandinavian immigrants 


did not average that, according to the estimate of the com- 
missioner of immigration. "It costs," to quote Smith, 
"about $652.50 to bring up a child in Europe till 15 years 
of age, and twice that amount in the United States. 
But this estimate does not mean the real value of men; they 
are not valued in dollars and cents. But every immigrant 
must represent labor capacity worth at least the value of a 
slave, which was $800 or $1,000 before the war, but being a 
free man he may not choose to w^ork. But it is figured that 
each immigrant is worth $875." Assuming that each Scan- 
dinavian immigrant has brought $75, which added to $875, 
the value of his labor capacity, amounts to $950, and multi- 
plyingthatamount by 1,500,000, the number of immigrants 
we find that the Scandinavian countries have sent — or rather 
permitted to be transferred — to the United States one billion 
four hundred and fifty million dollars ($1,450,000,000) worth 
of property in the form of human beings and what valuables 
these have brought with them. Even subtracting the $52,500,- 
000 which have been returned in the shape of prepaid tickets, 
presents, and cash, it yet leaves the United States in a debt 
of $1,397,500,000 to the Scandinavian countries. 

The Chinamen are, perhaps, intellectually equal to any 
people, yet China can never reach a higher civilization than it 
has attained to until the population is, in some way, reduced. 
Civilization and luxury go hand in hand. A highly cultured 
people must have elbow room for their activity. Simply 
a bare physical existence cannot elevate a nation, no matter 
how^ well intellectually the individuals may be endowed. 
That the Scandinavian countries have had a heavier popula- 
tion than could be decently supported will, perhaps, not be 


seriously disputed; consequently the emigration has fur- 
thered their development. Facts prove the assertion. The 
social and political aspects, the relation between the em- 
ployer and employe, have been revolutionized in Norway 
since emigration began. It is true that other causes have 
assisted in extinguishing class distinction, yet emigration 
has been the main factor. But then the emigration has also 
been so heavy that, taking into consideration only the im- 
migrants themselves and their children, there is no-w (1900) 
half as many Norwegians living in this country as there are 
in the whole of Norway. In Denmark and Sweden, where 
the emigration in proportion to the population has not been 
so heavy as in Norway, the eifect has been less marked. Yet 
it has had great influence upon the social and political con- 
ditions. Wages have certainly been raised in both countries 
as the direct result of the emigration. Besides Scandina- 
vian-Americans often import, and introduce to the trade in 
this country, goods manufactured in the North; some of 
them have returned home and established new industries; 
thus the manufacturing interests of the Scandinavian coun- 
tries have been extended, furnishing new employment to 
their people, and increasing their national wealth. 

Yet in spite of this widened commercial activity, and ben- 
eficial political, social, and religious influences, the govern- 
ments of the Northern powers have always looked upon 
emigration as a loss to their countries. A Danish-American 
wrote in 1885: "At present the ofiicial world, the press, 
and, on the whole, the higher classes, are rather hostile to 
the whole movement. At the best, they ignore it. They 
have not yet arrived at the same conclusions in regard to it 


as have the leading statesmen in England. They regard 
emigration as a loss to the old countries. They have the 
Greek-German view of the state as having interests apart 
jErom and above those of the individual. The existing state 
is, in their eyes, sacred, and not — as it is understood in Eng- 
land and America — identical with the interests of the indi- 
vidual members of the body politic. Secondly, they do not 
recognize the ■wholesome influence of the emigration on the 
people at home. It takes away from the rising population 
in a good many districts from one-eighth to one-fourth of its 
laborers. Such a decrease has considerable influence in rais- 
ing wages ; and employers in the first instance only look on 
what they lose ; they do not recognize that the better-paid 
workingmen, as a rule, give more valuable, and, therefore, 
not at all dearer, work. It is true that the great political 
influence of the emigrants on their old home at present con- 
tributes largely to strengthen the elements of opposition to 
the powers that be; but a self-conscious, independent people 
makes actually a stronger community." 

It is impossible to determine, either by statistics or by 
any historical records, the exact causes which have induced 
the majority of the Scandinavians to settle in the North- 
w^est. It is, no doubt, partly due to chance, climate, the 
direction which the early Scandinavian pioneers, especially 
Rev. O. G. Hedstrom, gave to the movement ; but, perhaps, 
more on account of the Northwest being just opened for set- 
tlement at the time when their emigration began. When 
some Norwegian emigrants arrived at Milwaukee, Wis., in 
1839, in search of suitable land, an old settler w^amed them 
against the climate of Illinois. He placed two men before 


them, one strong and healthy, the other weak and lean. 
Pointing towards the former, he said: "There you see a 
man from Wisconsin ; the other is from Illinois." The Nor- 
wegians remained in "Wisconsin. Slavery might, in the early 
days, have prejudiced them from going south. It is certain 
that movements of Scandinavians in that direction have at 
different times been attempted, but always failed. 

Prof. Babcock, of the University of Minnesota, who has 
made a special study of the Scandinavians in this country, 
and being a native American his opinions have a specific 
value, writes in The Foram for September, 1892, as follows: 
"The passion for the possession of land and for independence 
that goes with it have characterized the Scandinavians from 
the earliest times, and it is that -which has made them so 
valuable as citizens of the Northwest. Had they preferred 
to huddle together in villages or, still worse, to crow^d into 
large cities, the progress of this section w^ould have been 
materially slower. Until within the last eight years the 
towns have claimed only a small percentage, and now proba- 
bly not more than ten per cent come to settle in towns . Scanty 
means, a spirit of economy, and a fearlessness for hard work 
and temporary privation, have made them frequently pioneers 
in settling new territory. With the extension of new rail- 
roads into northwestern Minnesota and the Dakotas, and 
the opening up of Government and railroad land, great num- 
bers of Scandinavian immigrants, and Scandinavian settlers 
from older portions of the West, have settled here. All of 
the eighty counties of Minnesota, save possibly two, have 
representatives of all three Scandinavian peoples; whole 
townships and almost whole counties are tilled by them. 


In the newer counties of Minnesota and the Dakotas thirty 
and even forty per cent are of Scandinavian parentage. In 
the older portions it is said to be possible to travel 300 miles 
across Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota without once leav- 
ing Scandinavian-owned land. Though in every large city 
and town in the Northwest there are Scandinavians en- 
gaged in commercial enterprise and the professions with 
marked success, it yet remains true that the great majority 
are farmers. 

" One of the most important indirect results of the love 
for land-ownership is the hastening of naturalization. To 
take up homestead claims one of the first conditions for a 
foreigner is a declaration of intention to become a citizen ; 
so the prospective farmer at once takes out his first papers ; 
and the first step in naturalization is made. This done, 
natural inclination leads him to perfect his title of full 
citizenship. But the Scandinavian immigrant hardly 
needs any great incentive to citizenship. In politics he 
is as much in his element as an Irishman in New York 
City. His aptitude for politics and his interest in public 
affairs are natural. Be he Norwegian, Swede, or Dane, he 
hastened and moved in an atmosphere electric with inde- 
pendence and individualism. The Norwegian celebrates the 
Fourth of July all the more loyally, because on the seven- 
teenth of May he commemorated in the same way the es- 
tablishment, in defiance of all Europe, of the Norwegian con- 
stitution of 1814. The Dane is fresh from the constitutional 
struggle begun in 1849 ; the Swede has had popular repre- 
sentation since 1866: consequently the Scandinavian immi- 
grants have had some considerable political education when 


they arrive. The ballot and independence are not meaningless 
terms to them ; the exercise of them is their right, not merely 
their privilege. Certainly no class makes greater effort than 
the Scandinavian to become naturalized ; none enters upon 
the rights and duties of American citizenship with more en- 
thusiasm or honest, intelligent appreciation of its high 
privileges. Statistics from Minnesota show some interesting 
facts bearing upon this question, comparison being made 
with the Germans, -who rank among our best immigrants. 
By the census of 1885 the Scandinavian population was 43.2 
per cent and the German 30.1 per cent of the total foreign- 
bom population. Of the increase of foreign-born population 
for five years ending with 1885, the Scandinavian was 48.2 
per cent, the German 30.9 per cent. For the same period, of 
the total naturalizations (first papers) the Scandinavians 
took out 56.3 per cent and the Germans 23.2 per cent. Or, 
looking at the matter in another way, for the same half-dec- 
ade the Scandinavians who were naturalized were 35.4 per 
cent of the increase of Scandinavian population for the same 
time, the Germans 22.9 per cent. Similar statistics for other 
half-decades give approximately the same results. 

" The political affiliations of the Scandinavian voters till 
about 1886 were almost invariably with the Republican 
party. The opposition to slavery rallied every son of the 
Northland, and no soldiers were braver or more patriotic 
than the Scandinavian Fifteenth Wisconsin regiment and 
Scandinavian companies in other Wisconsin and Iowa regi- 
ments. The suppression of the Rebellion, the abolition of 
slavery, the passage of the homestead law to tvhich they 
owed so much — all appealed powerfully to their political 


senses. New-comers found their predecessors in the Repub- 
lican party ; they found it the party in power in the State 
and generally in the Nation ; its principles were acceptable, 
and so they too became Republicans. Since 1886, however, 
less reliance can be placed upon a solid Scandinavian vote, 
though this element has never been the ready tool of "boss- 
es." It has ever been a ruling rather than a ruled element. 
The immigration of the last eight years has had a larger 
percentage from the cities, and a larger percentage has set- 
tled in the cities, so that "labor questions" have affected 
them ; local political issues have, to their credit, sometimes 
shaken their old allegiance more or less, as, for example, 
prohibition in Iowa and North Dakota, high license in Min- 
nesota; the Bennett law in Wisconsin temporarily drove 
them out of the Republican party ; the Farmers' Alliance, 
People's party, etc., have drawn Scandinavian recruits from 
both of the old parties ; the tariff and other national ques- 
tions have divided them as well as other thinking men in 
both great political parties. However, the majority of 
them are still and will continue to be Republicans, though no 
party can mortgage their vote for any election. 

" Coupled with the love for politics among them is the 
love for religion and the Church. The vast majority are 
Lutherans of one branch or another. At any rate, they are 
Protestant enough to satisfy the most fastidious Catholic- 
hater, for a Catholic in Norway or Sweden is a rare, suspi- 
cious object. The dissenting movement among the Scandi- 
navian Lutherans in America is comparatively strong. At 
one time there were six divisions of the Norwegians alone, 
though recently three of them united. The rigid adherence 


to the forms and practices of the mother-state Church is 
weakened, while, on the other hand, the liberal and atheistic 
movements have made slow progress, even among the dis- 
senters. The churches, with a few exceptions, have not 
maintained regular elementary schools. Poverty, isolation 
of the families of the great farming class, and the desire to 
conform to American customs have all lead to a very general 
patronage of the common schools. The church school is 
usually open during public-school vacations, if at all, and 
instruction confined to religious teaching and the use of the 
mother-tongue. All this has contributed to the rapid Amer- 
icanization of the second generation. For higher education, 
the church maintains numerous and well-patronized semi- 
naries and colleges, while the high-schools and the State 
universities throughout the Northwest have a large Scandi- 
navian attendance, auguring well for the future. In the 
University of Minnesota, for example, located in the same 
city with two Scandinavian colleges, during the past year 
one hundred and seventy-five students, out of thirteen hun- 
dred and seventy-four were of Scandinavian parentage. 

" The Scandinavians, with all their virtues, are not with- 
out faults. They are often narrow-minded, in the city some- 
times clannish and given to making demands, political and 
social, as Scandinavian-Americans. The Swede is frequently 
jealous of the Norwegian, and vice versa. But as a class 
they are sober, earnest, industrious, and frugal. They are 
not driven here ; they come of their own accord and come to 
stay, not to get a few hundred dollars and return to a life of 
idleness. They come not to destroy our institutions, but to 
build them up by adopting them. They come from countries 


not potent or glorious in European affairs, and therefore the 
more readily denationalize themselves, that they may be- 
come entirely American. The most of them are plain, com- 
mon people, strong, sturdy, and independent, required to 
unlearn little, ready and able to learn much and learn it 
well. They still have tlie same powers of adaptability and 
assimilation that made Rollo and his Northmen such good 
Frenchmen, and Guthrun and his Danes such excellent Eng- 
lishmen ; and using these powers among us today, thej-- are, 
or are rapidly becoming, irreproachably and unimpeachably 

The well-know Prof. H. H. Boyesen writes in the North 
American Review for November, 1892: "The Chicago pa- 
pers, at the time of the trial of the Anarchists, complimented 
the Scandinavians of the West on their law-abiding spirit, 
and the counsel for the accused emphasized the complimenr 
by requesting that no Scandinavian should be accepted on 
the jury. He declared his intention of challenging any 
talesman of Norse blood on the ground of his nativity. 
Although this man probably had but slight acquaintance 
with Norsemen, the instinct which bade him beware of them 
was a correct one. 

" There is no nation in Europe that is more averse to vio- 
lence, and has less sympathy with Utopian aspirations than 
the people of Norway and Sweden. They have been trained 
to industry, frugality and manly self-reliance by the free in- 
stitutions and the scant resources of their native lands ; and 
the moderation and self-restraint inherent in the cold blood 
of the North make them constitutionally inclined to trust in 
slow and orderly methods rather than swift and violent 


ones. They come here with no millenial expectations, 
doomed to bitter disappointment; but with the hope of 
gaining, by hard and unremitting toil, a modest competency. 
They demand less of life than continental immigrants of the 
corresponding class, and they usually, for this very reason, 
attain more. The instinct to save is strong in the majority 
of them, and save they do, when their neighbors, of less fru- 
gal habits, are running behind. The poor soil of the old 
land and the hardships incident upon a rough climate, have 
accustomed them to a struggle for existence scarcely less 
severe than that of the Western pioneer ; and unilluminated 
by any hope of improved conditions in the future. The qual- 
ities of perseverance, thrift, and a sturdy sense of independ- 
ence which this struggle from genergtion to generation has 
developed, are the very ones which must form the corner 
stone of an enduring republic. 

"It is therefore a fact which all students of the social 
problem arising from immigration have remarked that the 
Scandinavians adapt themselves with great ease to Ameri- 
can institutions. There is no other class of immigrants 
which so readily assimilated, and assumes so naturally 
American customs and modes of thought. And this is not 
because their own nationality is devoid of strong character- 
istics, but because, on account of the ancient kinship and 
subsequent development, they have certain fundamental 
traits in common with us, and are therefore less in need of 
adaption. The institutions of Norway are the most demo- 
cratic in Europe, and those of Sweden, though less liberal, 
are developing in the same direction. Both Norsemen and 
Swedes are accustomed to participate in the management of 


their communal affairs, and to vote for their representative 
in the national parliament ; and although the power given 
them here is nominally greater than that they enjoyed at 
home, it is virtually less. The sense of public responsibility, 
the habit of interest in public affairs, and a critical attitude 
towards the acts of government are nowhere so general 
among rich and poor alike as in Norway and Sw^eden, not- 
withstanding the fact that the suffrage is not universal. No 
great effort is therefore required, on the part of Norwegian 
and Swedish immigrants, to transfer their natural interest in 
public affairs to the affairs of their adopted country, w^hich 
now must concern them closely. With increasing prosperity 
comes a sense of loyalty to the flag, and a disposition, per- 
haps, to brag in the presence of later arrivals. To be an old 
settler is a source of pride and is recognized as a title to con- 
sideration. A large majority of the old settlers participated 
in the war, and naturally shared in the sentiment of militant 
loyalty and devotion to the Union which animated the Fed- 
eral army. This is, perhaps, the chief reason why the Scan- 
dinavian element in the United States is so overwhelmingly 
Republican; for the newly-arrived immigrant, having no 
comprehension of the questions dividing American parties, is 
apt to accept his politics from the respected "old settler" and 
veteran, and feels safe, at the end of five years, in voting as 
he votes. Thus it happens that the war feeling w^ith its at- 
tendant hostility to the South, is transmitted to those to 
whom the war is but a dim tradition, and the militant poli- 
tics of the veteran survives amid a peaceful generation that 
never smelled powder. 

" It is notable that, though in many of the earliest Norse 


settlements the descendentsof the first settlers are still living, 
there is very little but their names (often Anglicized) and a 
certain Norwegian cast of features to indicate their Scandi- 
navian origin. They speak English, and, if they have ever 
learned Norwegian, have usually forgotten it. They have 
intermarried with American families, and live, think, and feel 
as Americans. I have had letters from many of these people, 
asking me to suggest Norwegian names for their children, or 
inquiring about certain localities in Norway from which their 
parents or grandparents came. It would seem, judging by 
the rapipity with which they have adopted American speech 
and modes of life, that the problem of the assimilation of the 
immigrant may be safely left to time, without the interfer- 
ence of artificial agencies. But it must be remembered that 
fifty or sixty years ago, the Scandinavian nationalities were 
completely lost in the ocean of American life, which beat 
upon them on all sides, and they had no choice but to drift 
with the current. I am far from beHeving now that they, or 
any other nationality, are strong enough to remain perman- 
ently alien in our midst ; but they are surely able to resist, 
for a whole generation, the influence of our national life, and 
make the process of national assimilation extremely diffcult 
for their children. 

" The Scandinavians have been accused of clannishness, 
and not without cause. It should, however, be considered 
that the immigrant, of whatever nationality, has no choice 
but to be clannish, unless he chooses to associate with those 
who look down upon him, or dispense with social intercourse 
altogether. Native Americans are not in the habit of wel- 
coming the immigrant with cordiality ; and they have often 


good reason for regarding him with eyes not altogether 
friendly. Social intercourse can only be agreeable among 
people who recognize each other as equals, and no man can 
be blamed for shunning the society of those who refuse to 
grant him this recognition. It is, therefore, inevitable that 
alien communities should grow up in our midst as long as 
we permit the stream of immigration to pour unimpeded 
down upon our shores. Each new arrival is attracted to 
the locallity v(rliere he has friends or kinsmen ; and when he 
has laid aside a little money his first desire is to draw more 
friends and kinsmen after him. Around this nucleus a con- 
stant aggregation of homogeneous alien elements will gather. 
"There is continual complaint in the Scandinavian 
papers of the West that the nationalities which they repre- 
sent are not recognized in the distribution of offices ; and it 
is alleged that in the cities and counties, where the Scandi- 
navians tv\rice out number the Irish, the later have a larger 
representation in municipal and county offices. The reason 
of this is not a lack of aptitude for public affairs on the part 
of Norwegians and Swedes ; for, on the contrary, they take 
as naturally to politics as goslings do to water. But it is 
rather because they have not learned to suspend personal 
spites and resentments for the sake of a larger end to be 
gained. They have not learned party discipline nor the 
faculty to assert themselves as a unit. From the American 
point of view this is perhaps not a matter of regret, but 
rather of congratulation. For we have already a pestifer- 
ous abundance of alien nationalities which have the inso- 
lence to claim recognition, not as bodies of American citizens, 
but as Irish, Germans, Bohemians, and Poles ; as if in that 


capacity they have any right to participation in the govern- 
ment of the American republic." 

Smith in his book, Emigration and Immigration, says 
that the American traits are : First, " The fcee political con- 
stitution and the ability to govern ourselves in the ordinary 
affairs of life ;" second, " The absence of privileged classes ;" 
third, "The economic -well-being of the masses;" fourth, 
"Love of law and order, ready acquiescence in the will of 
the majority." In a political sense these peculiarities are 
virtually common to both the Americans and Scandinavians ; 
for even if the latter have had privileged classes in their na- 
tive lands, they certainly are not in favor of such an arrange- 
ment. It is no wonder then that the Scandinavians become 
— according to all authorities on the subject — quickly Amer- 
canized in regard to all political affairs. 

What then is the reason that the majority of the Ameri- 
can people and many of the educated Scandinavian-Ameri- 
cans accuse the Northmen of clannishness ? In the first place 
those people difier from each other socially. The American 
has a broad knowledge of men and things. He can and 
does approach a stranger with the same ease with which he 
meets a friend of several years' standing. He questions 
everybody. He recognizes no class distinction, but associ- 
ates with everyone who is worthy of his confidence. He is 
energetic, ambitious, excitable, and extreme. He is remark- 
ably liberal and tolerant on all religious, political, and social 
questions ; but equally narrow-minded and bigoted in regard 
to his patriotism. America, in his estimation, is the only 
country under the sun fit for civilized man to live in. He 
points with just pride to the rapid development of the na- 


tion. He boasts of, and sometimes exaggerates, the natural, 
undeveloped resources, and of the great future of his coun- 
try. He jokes with everything, even the most sacred. A 
city council will grant a license to a saloon or house of ill- 
fame one day, the next Sunday all the individuals who com- 
pose the council will attend a revival meeting and pray for 
the conversion of mankind. If a foreigner, who knew noth- 
ing about the life in America, should attend a political mass- 
meeting, or a large religious revival gathering, he would cer- 
tainly come to the conclusion that the whole nation was 
either drunk or insane, or perhaps both. 

The Scandinavian, on the other hand, is less excitable, 
enterprising, and ambitious, but more solid, reserved, and 
conservative. He does not live by jerks, but progresses 
slowly and surely. He is more moderate in his virtues 
as well as in his vices. He will attend church once or twice 
Sunday, and perhaps devote part of the day in visiting a 
friend or taking a walk. The latter practice is considered 
to be a great sin among the Puritans. The Scandinavian- 
American seldom meets the Yankee except in business rela- 
tions, or at apolitical convention, although he may occasion- 
ally attend a woman's sufferage meeting or an American 
church sociable, and make a short, formal call at the 
Yankee's house to be introduced to the family. 

The superior social aptness, the great religious and social 
activity of the American woman leads the Northman to con- 
clude — as a Norwegian wit expressed it — that all she does is 
to dress herself, attend church, and take care of her nerves. 
The United States statistics show that the Scandinavians 
are less apt to marry American ladies than any other foreig- 


ners, altbough they more frequently inter-marry with other 
nationalities than any other immigrants. 

The Scandinavians seldom see the admirable home life for 
which the Americans are justly noted. They judge the latter 
as he appears in business life, and conclude that the Yankee 
is simply a financial and political boomer who is too shrewd 
and unscrupulous to be depended upon. Their conclusion in 
regard to business is, on the whole, correct, but in regard to 
society it is utterly wrong. For no nation is more sympa- 
thetic, humanitarian,devoted to kindness, andliberal towards 
charitable objects than the Americans. Secondly, the con- 
servatism and slowness of the Northmen is often mistaken 
for clannishness. They settle in large bodies, not with 
the intention of being exclusive, but because it is con- 
venient, and often their only choice; here they attend to their 
own affairs without thinking anything about Americaniza- 
tion. Struggle for existence, in many cases, requires all their 

But the American nation has nothing to fear in regard to 
the foreignism of Scandinavians. They very rapidly adopt 
the virtues as w^ell as the vices of their adopted country. It 
is, perhaps, better that a people is a little slow in becoming 
Americanized, than to hasten too much. A person who 
takes out his naturalization papers on the day he arrives at 
Castle Garden, either does not know his obligations to the 
new country, or doesn't care to perform any duties to any 
land ; in either case he is not likly to be a desirable citizen. 
All the Scandinavian immigrants use American ftirnitureand 
machinery, their style of dress and mode of living are essen- 
l(t'41y American — all of which has a powerful influence in 


Americanizing them. It is true that there are Northmen who 
have lived in this country thirty years, yet are unable to 
speak fifteen English words correctly ; but this class of peo- 
ple are an exception, not the rule. 

Of course theirmanners, customs, and language are ofben 
a strange combination of Scandinavian-Americanism and 
■would make an excellent theme for a novelist. They some- 
times talk about, "spika English," "travla pa stimbaten," 
"maka monni," "mova avej," "go to mitingen," "been 
chitad," "got a yobb," and, "sinja Yankee Doodle." But 
most of them agree with H. Stockenstrom : 

" Men jag mest prisar den nya Svenska, 
Som ar sa olik den fosterlanska." 

The bad habit of having a feast of eating and drinking at 
funerals, w^hich is customary in the Scandinavian countries, 
is sometimes practiced here also. For example, we read 
about the early Norwegian settlers in Wisconsin how they 
astonished the minister at a funeral by presenting to him a 
glass of whisky between the singing of the first and second 
stanza, saying: "It is customary in our country to take a 
glass between the singing of each stanza." And with the 
hymn book in one hand, a glass of whisky in the other, and 
the corpse before them, themoumers shed tears over their de- 
parted friend. Half-way between the house and the cemetery 
they repeated the act. This, however, is an extreme case. Itis 
seldom carried to such excess in the North, and far less — ^if 
practiced at all, — among the Scandinavian -Americans. For, 
on the whole, the Northmen in this country adopt American 
manners and customs. The more progressive element of the 
first generation speak English from choice, the second from 


necessity, and the third knows little about the language 
of their grandparents. Yet it is to be hoped that the Scandi- 
navian-Americans of today will never become so completely 
transformed that they lose their character, courage, earn, 
estness, frankness, strong convictions, self-possession, and 
indomitable will-power. 

According to the United States census of 1870, 1880, and 
1890 the Scandinavians have the best records of any nation- 
alities in the country, either foreign or native, in regard to 
crime, vagrancy, pauperism, deaf and dumb, and blind. In 
addition they take most readily to farming, become quickly 
Americanized, and possess a better education and have more 
money at their arrival than any other immigrants. It is no 
w^onder then that nearly every political economist admits 
that they are the best immigrants which the country receives. 

W. W. Thomas, United States minister to Sweden-Nor- 
w^ay, wrote in 1891 as follows: "Probably not less than 
2,000,000 Swedes and their descendants are now living in 
our country and call themselves Americans. In fact the day 
will soon come when the United States will contain more 
citizens of Swedish descent than Sweden herself; and we will 
be not only the newer, but the greater Sweden, as we 
have already become the greater England." Col. Hans 
Mattson, in his Minnen, published in 1890, says: "When 
we take into consideration the numerous Swedish colo- 
nists that settled in Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New 
Jersey in the seventeenth century, and their descendants, 
together with the descendants of Scandinavian emigrants 
of the last seventy years, I think it is safe to estimate the 
total population of Scandinavian descent at over four mil- 


Kons, or fully one-sixteenth of the entire population of 
the United States." These estimations, however, appear 
to be simply assertions and not based upon any kind of sta- 
tistical figures or computations, and are, perhaps, too high. 
Yet in 1900 there were in this country about one-fifth as 
many Danes as in Denmark, one-third as many Swedes as in 
Sweden, and one-half as many Norwegians as in Norway. 
In 1890 one person out of every twenty -five in the United 
States, was a Scandinavian, either by birth or by descent in 
the second generation. By the most careful computation of 
statistical figures, it is a conservative estimate to assume 
that, in 1900, there are in this country three million Scandi- 
navian-bom or having Scandinavian parents. 

The Icelandic Discoveries of America. 


The origin and cause of the movement that led to these 
discoveries seems to have had their birth in Norway in or 
about the year 872, when King Harold Fairhair, in a naval 
battle, overcame the jarls, or independent princes, of that 
country, and subdued them to his vassalage. Such a subjuga- 
tion could not be tolerated by the haughty and heroic 
Northmen, and they were forced to seek relief in other coun- 
tries more congenial to their free and independent natures. 
In support of this the histories tell us that a general move- 
ment took place ; the jarls and Vikings took to their ships, 
invoked their God of Storms and set sails for distant shores. 
Some steered to the South and founded homes for them- 
selves in the sunny climate of sourthem Europe. But we 
are especially concerned with the northern branch of this 
army, which discovered and settled on the islands in the 
North Atlantic, especially Iceland. 

This noble and historic island is said to have been first 
discovered in 874 by the heroic Viking Ingolf. It was on 
this island, especially, that a strong and free republic soon 
grew up, and to its sturdy sons, we claim, belongs the im- 
mortal honor of the discovery of America. 



This republic, entirely independent, and consisting of 
the bravest and boldest of the Northmen, soon developed into 
a community of wealth and culture; now renowned the 
world over for its rich literature in old sagas, poetry, and 
chronicles. It is thus evident that all these combined afford 
the most reliable authority for the early settlements, achieve- 
ments, and discoveries of the Northmen. Hence it is mainly 
from these, as authorities, that we relate the following his- 
torical facts, undisputed by the best modem historians. 

In 876, about two years after the discovery of the is- 
land, we are told by the chronicles, that a certain settler, by 
the name of Gunnbjom, was driven on to the coast of Green- 
land in a storm, that his ship was fettered in ice all through 
the winter, but as soon as spring came they were able to 
return to Iceland. A great many years after, about 983, 
another settler, by the name of Erik the Red, got into a 
quarrel with his foe, and a homicide was the result. For this 
Erik was condemned by the court, according to the laws of 
the land, and to escape punishment, as well as to satisfy his 
nature for exploration and discovery, he fitted out a vessel, 
and -with a few companions set sail for the land of Gunn- 
bjorn. After a few days sailing he discovered Greenland and 
explored it along the coast each side of Cape Farew^ell dur- 
ing the next three years. He finally settled down on a 
grassy plain near the coast, which he was pleased to call 
Greenland, and from thence the whole country has derived 
its name. 

After three years, however, he returned to Iceland, but 
only to induce a greater number of emigrants to embark for 
Greenland. We are thus told that in re-crossing he had a 


fleet of twenty-five ships, but, unfortunately, eleven of them 
perished in the high seas of the North, and but fourteen 
reached Greenland. However, the remainder built up a pros- 
perous colony in the country, which lasted for 400 years. 

One of the men who came over to Greenland with Erik, 
Hjerulf by name, had the distinguished honor of being the 
father of the first white man, who saw the main land of 
North America. This man's name was Bjami. The event 
came about thus : during the summer that Hjerulf went 
over to Greenland with Erik, his son Bjarni had been absent 
in Norway ; and being unconscious of his father's journey, 
Bjami sailed home to Iceland the following autumn to pass 
the Christmas with his father. But on arriving in Iceland he 
found that his father had emigrated to Greenland ; he there- 
fore immediately set sail to follow his father to that country. 

On the way over, a cloudy sky and foggy weather at- 
tended his voyage, the crew lost their way, and were for 
many days borne before the wind without knowledge of their 
course. At length the weather brightened up somewhat, and 
Bjami sighted land in the distance, but to his disappointment, 
he soon discovered that it w^as a coast without mountains, 
covered with woods, instead of the great mountains of ice 
that he had been told he would see on the coast of Green- 
land. They therefore put the ship about and sailed for two 
more days, when they again sighted land, but neither this 
answered the description of Greenland. Again they went to 
sea, and having sailed for four days more with the same 
wind, the coast of Greenland was seen to loom up in the dis- 
tance. Fortunately enough, Bjarni landed on the very 
promontory where his father lived. He then assumed control 


of his father's estate, and dwelt with him the remainder of 
his life. 

This accidental finding of land by Bjami excited little 
curiosity until it came to the ears of the famous Leif, the son 
of Erik the Red, who at this time, about 999, came over to 
Greenland from Norway. This Leif Erikson, the real discov- 
erer of America, bought the vessel of Bjarni and manned it 
with a crew of thirty-five men, leaving Greenland in the 
autumn of the year 1000, and sailing to the South, for the 
express purpose of discovering the lands previously seen by 
Bjarni. Good fortune attended. Some distance to the south- 
ward, Leif discovered a barren coast, now know^n to be the 
northern coast of Newfoundland. Having rested here for 
some time, the discoverer again put to sea, sailing farther 
southward, and in the space of a few days came upon anoth- 
er coast, covered with thick woods. Here he landed and 
inspected the country around, now known by the name of 
Nova Scotia. But soon he once more set to sea, and, having 
now sailed for two more days, with a northeast wind, he 
for the third time sighted land, and pulled ashore "At the 
estuary of a certain river." Here they found the country 
pleasant, the river full of fish, and the land abounding in 
grapes. With this Leif was so pleased that he called the 
land he had discovered, Vinland. The location of the third 
discovery corresponds the closest to that about Massachu- 
setts Bay. 

Pleased as they were with the country, Leif determined 
to pass the winter here, his men accordingly built up some 
huts at this place, and in them they dwelt through the 
winter. In the spring Leif and his men started home for 


- P 






5 -^ 

W Q 

H O 
W ^ 







I'liOF. It. P.. ANTil:[;S(lN, MADISoX, AVIS. 


Greenland with a cargo of timber, and reached the abode of 
his father, Erik, in safety. This discoveryofLeif created much 
talk in Greenland, and Thorvald, his brother, thinking the 
land had been "too little explored," begged leave of Leif, 
and obtained his ships for another voyage, made in 1002. 
Thorvald succeeded in finding the lands, and the huts that 
Leif had built. Here it is said they made their winter quar- 
ters, supporting themselves on fish through the winter of 

In the spring they went on exploring along the coast. 
But having sailed some distance they fell in with " savages," 
and in a fight that followed Thorvald was killed. Shortly 
after that the remainder returned to Greenland. 

Again it is said in the sagas, that in the summer of 1006, 
there came from Iceland a noble and a wealthy man, 
Thorfinn Karlsefui by name. This man, we are told, fell at 
once in love with the beautiful woman, Gudrid, the widow 
of Thorstein Erikson, brother to Leif, and as a natural con- 
sequence they were united in marriage, and the event was 
celebrated by a merry vpedding. 

This woman Gudrid is said to have persuaded her hus- 
band, Karlsefni, to sail for Vinland, and that she succeeded 
to such a degree that Karlsefni left for Vinland in the spring 
of 1007, with a sufficient force to found a colony, having 
three or four ships, with 160 men, some women, and a cargo 
of cattle on board. America was safely reached. In this 
very year Gudrid gave birth to a child, and they named him 
Snorro. He was thus the first white child bom in America. 
By way of remark, it may be noted here that such men as 
the learned antiquarian, Finn Magnusson, and the renouned 


sculptor, Thorvaldsen, have taken pride in tracing their 
ancestry to this first white American boy, Snorro. But to 
continue : this company of Karlsefni is said to have dwelt 
in the country for the three following years, but then to 
have returned again to Greenland. Karlsefni had to give up 
his enterprise on account of the hostility of the natives. 
Many of their crew had lost their lives, when the remainder 
returned home, 1010, with a cargo of timber, skins, and furs. 
The latter [two of which they had obtained from the 

Yet another party sailed for Vinland, 1011, but with 
even less success. A quarrel arose among their number, 
which ended in cruelty and bloodshed within their own flock. 
After their return to Greenland, 1012, ends the account of all 
the important attempts to explore and colonize Vinland, or 
America, as far as the Northmen are concerned. 

As previously stated, this gives the outline of discoveries 
and voyages made by the Northmen in the tenth and eleventh 
centuries, as related by the sagas and annals of Iceland. 
And in saying this, as much is said, as if these great histor- 
ical events were backed by the strongest authority. 

Any one that is thoroughly acquainted with the spirit 
of the old sagas, their simple and unambitious style, 
together with their minute detail and accuracy of statement, 
cannot for a moment hesitate to accept their narrative as 
undisputable history. This in fact, is the conclusion that the 
learned world has arrived at. 

Besides this verifying power of the spirit and accuracy of 
the sagas themselves, innumerable coincidental facts, and 
important finds in Greenland and even in America, absolutely 


prove that the Northmen were the first and last true discov- 
erers of America. This seems a very strong statement to 
make without giving sufficient arguments to prove the as- 
sertion. But it is here taken for granted that a detailed ac- 
count of all the coincidental proofs now revealed by the best 
authorities on this subject, is unnecessary, and could not 
come within the scope of this little essay. Let it rather be 
sufficient to say that these discoveries of the Northmen were 
known to some of the learned Europeans up to 1350, at 
least. A passage here quoted from the Antiquitates Ameri- 
canae, clearly proves that the native Indians, also, pos- 
sessed some traditions about the Northmen in America. 
This is the passage : " There was a tradition current with 
the oldest Indians (in these parts) that there came a 
wooden house and "men of another country in it, swim- 
ming up the river Assoonet, as this ( Tonton river) was 
then called, who fought the Indians with mighty suc- 
cess, etc." 

Besides all this, an appeal to common sense ought to tell us 
that the Vikings, the boldest navigators of ancient times, 
men who visited or plundered every nook and comer of Eu- 
rope, so to speak, could not help but to discover America, 
after once having discovered Greenland. 

To support that the history of these disc o veries was known 
through Europe, we have the account of the French author, 
Gabriel Gravier, (together with many others,) in his work, 
Decouverte de I'Amirique par les Normands, that Gudrid, 
wife of Karlsefai, made a journey to Rome, where she was 
w^ell received, and that she here certainly told about her 
voyage in America, and it is also here said that the facts thus 


revealed by Gudrid, although kept as a profound secret by 
the papal authorities, had without a doubt a great influence 
on subsequent discoveries. 

We have thus shown that the discoveries in America by 
Leif Erikson are proven by accurate records in Iceland, that 
the history of these discoveries was known through Europe, 
and especially in Rome, that this history of the Northmen is 
verified by subsequent coincidental discoveries, and the re- 
mains of ruins and relics, and finally, that the old traditions 
of the Indians in America must necessarily remove every 
shadow of a doubt. 

What then can be the value of the so-called discovery of 
Columbus? Columbus himself professes to have gone to, 
and beyond Iceland, whether he got any information there 
in regard to America is not certain, but a great sailor and 
a rover that he was, together w^ith his genius for geography 
and ambition for discovery, make it very probable, and 
indeed almost certain, that he did obtain the necessary infor- 
mation for his great subsequent voyage. If not, what did 
he go to Iceland for? Two facts are certain, and that is, that 
he would naturally endeavor to obtain anyinformation con- 
nected with his conceived enterprise, and since there was 
nothing to hinder him from getting this information, either 
from the people in Iceland or their sagas, what are w^e to in- 
fer but that he did? Secondly, if he did obtain some knowl- 
edge there about America, it is equally certain that a man of 
his ability and sagacity, would have sense enough to remain 
tacit about it, if for his silence he would be rewarded with 
the immortal glory of discovering the better half of the 
world. Or how could the man help but to get the necessary 


information from his advisors in Rome, who knew all about 
it? This indeed is so strongly hinted at in one of the ac- 
counts of Columbus that nothing but the blindest prejudice 
can dismiss its significance. The fact of it all is that Leif 
Erikson is the true discoverer of America, while Columbus 
was merely the first emigrant to America from Spain. 

The First Swedisli Settlement in America, 


[Published in the Scandinavia in 1884."] 

To the human trait of avarice may be attributed the 
■world's most rapid advance in every department of com- 
merce and its subsequent arts. The alluring sparkle of gold 
has led men to dare all latitudes and seas, however strange, 
however obstinately closed, however strewn with dead men's 
bones ; and from the new world of North and South America 
there has streamed for centuries the light of a beacon such as 
this. The Northmen, the Spanish, the French, the English, 
the Dutch — an army of adventurers — have come, have seen, 
have generally conquered. To their magnificent courage or 
insatiable greed, the doors of knowledge and of wealth have 
opened, and the majority of these early colonists have gained 
their ends, — the acquisition of territory at any risk, the ex- 
tortion of gold at any cost. But higher motives and more 
enduring principles were brought to us across the seas when 
religious intolerance drove the spirit of martyrdom to our 
shores. The Puritans, the Huguenots, the Swedish fugitives 
from the Protestant-Catholic wars colonized those states in 



which slavery with its attendant evils found its most inse- 
cure footing ; and on the banks of the Delaware, the only 
humane policy ever devised for dealing with the Indian race, 
was instituted by the pious Swedes. "Slaves," said Gustaf 
Adolf, "cost a great deal, labor with reluctance, and soon 
perish from hard usage; but the Swedish nation is indus- 
trious and intelligent, and hereby we shall gain more by a 
free people with wives and children." This would appear to 
be a stroke of economy rather than a principle of morality, 
but in the instructions of the Swedish government to Gov- 
ernor Printz, w^ith regard to the Indians, the genuine piety of 
the Swedish administration is exhibited. Article IX reads as 
follows : "The wild nations bordering on all sides, the gov- 
ernor shall treat with all humanity and respect, and so that 
no violence or w^rong be done to them by Her Royal Maj- 
esty, or her subjects aforesaid ; but he shall rather * * * 
exert himself that the same wild people may be gradually 
instructed in the truths and worship of the Christian relig- 
ion, and in other ways brought to civilization and good gov- 
ernment, and in this manner properly guided. Especially 
shall he seek to gain their confidence, and impress upon their 
minds that neither he, the governor, nor his people and sub- 
ordinates are come into these parts to do them any wronger 
injury, but much more for the purpose of furnishing them 
with such things as they may need for the ordinary wants of 

Religious dissensions, the most bitter and cruel of all an- 
imosities, had scattered broadcast over Europe, in the seven- 
teenth century, the seeds of fermentation and unrest. So 
that when William Usselinx, a native of Antwerp, Brabant, 


proposed toGustaf Adolf in 1624, the despatch of a Swedish 
colony to America, it was as if he had provided an outlet for 
the bursting national heart. Gustaf seized upon the plan 
with enthusiasm. He concentrated upon it all of his talents 
as a statesman, and the result was a scheme which for bril- 
liancy and liberality of design has had no parallel in the an- 
nals of colonization projects. Usselinx was the founder of 
the Dutch West India Company, of which he was also for 
several years a director. Becoming dissatisfied for some rea- 
son with the management of the company, he severed his 
connection with it, and proceeded to Stockholm. He appears 
to have been a man of more than ordinary ability, which 
■was exhibited in the projection more than in the execution of 
great enterprises. He was the agitator of more conserva- 
tive men, and to him is accredited the first conception of a 
Swedish colony in America, at a time when Europe was 
absorbed in the seriousness of home affairs. The Thirty 
Years' War was at its height, and Protestant Danes and 
Germans were exposed to the fury of the storm. Gustaf 
Adolf was as yet but a looker-on, conscious of the inevitable 
part which he must soon assume, and burdened with anxiety 
for his unhappy subjects. Usselinx appeared at an oppor- 
tune moment. He proposed the founding of a trading com- 
pany in Sweden, whose operations should extend to Asia, 
Africa, and America, the territory included in the project 
being, indeed, almost unlimited. He expatiated to the king 
upon the advantages certain to accrue from the enterprise, 
that carried objections before it. He appealed to his philan- 
thropy by depicting the opportunities for spreading the 
Christian religion among heathen nations. He asserted in 


positive terms the pecuniary gain which would eventually be 
added to the Swedish crown ; and, as a clinching argument 
in favor of the immediate undertaking of the scheme, he 
pointed to the suffering condition of the Protestants in the 
kingdom, and the horrors to w^hich they were exposed. The 
king foresaw in it a benefit not to be defined by Usselinx's 
terms. While he recognized in it the direct solution of a 
problem w^hich had long vexed his mind, he also perceived 
moral and political blessings as likely to arise from it, which 
the eye of a great statesman only can descry through centu- 
ries. In the warrant for the establishment of such a com- 
pany, we find these words : " Know ye, that by a petition, 
the honest and prudent William Usselinx has humbly shown 
and proved to Us how a general trading company here from 
our kingdom of Sweden, to Asia, Africa, America, and Ma- 
gellan could be established," etc. » * * " Such being the 
proposition which he made, we have taken it into considera- 
tion, and that we cannot disapprove of it, nor do we 
see, but what it is sure, that if God will give success, it shall 
tend to the honor of His holy name, to our and the state's 
welfare, and the advancement and advantage of our sub- 
jects. We have, therefore, graciously received, and with 
pleasure approved of it, and consented that the said com- 
pany be organized and established," etc. * * * "Given 
and signed in our royal palace at Stockholm, the 21st of 
December, 1624. Gustavus Adolphus." 

A commercial company endowed with the privilege of 
foundingforeign colonies, was therefore incorported at Stock- 
holm, May 21, 1627. The charter provided the existence of 
the company for twelve years from May, 1625 to May, 1637, 


during which time no capital was to be withdrawn, nor new 
stockholders admitted. Usselinx was to have for his ser- 
■vices, past, present, and ftiture, "one per mille of all goods 
and merchandise which were bought and sold in the com- 
pany." It was decided that the contributions of capital 
should not proceed from any single country, but that all 
Europe should be invited to share in the enterprise, both 
with the subscription of means and the despatch of colonists. 
Prof. Odhner regards this as a move of expediency rather 
than disinterestedness, as the finances of Sweden were then 
in a state of depletion. But the character of Gustaf Adolf 
w^ould surely admit a more generous construction, namely, 
that he wished all suffering people to share in its possible ad- 

The persons who took part in this remarkable company 
were his majesty's mother, the Queen Dowager Christina, 
the Prince John Cassimir, the Royal Council, and the most 
distinguished of the nobility, the higest officers of the army, 
the bishops and other clergymen, together with the burgo- 
masters and aldermen of the cities, as well as a large num- 
ber of the people generally. For the direction and execution 
of the plan, there were appointed an admiral, vice-admiral, 
chapman, under-chapman, assistants, and commissaries, and 
a body of soldiers fully officered. Such was the plan pro- 
posed by the greatest man of his time. But God disposed 
otherwise. Upon the eve of the fruition of his designs, Gus- 
taf was summoned to his supreme mission as defender of the 
Protestant faith in Europe. Brilliant triumphs distinguished 
him in other spheres, but through them all he preserved an un- 
diminished interest in the plan which had been thus tempora- 


rily, as he believed, frustrated. At thebattleof Liitzen he lost 
his life, bequeathing to his chancellor, Oxenstierna, who was 
also his beloved friend and cooperator, "the jewel of his 
crown," i. e., the project w^hich had lain so near his heart. 

Oxenstierna exerted himself to the utmost to carry out 
the intentions of the king, but his efforts were unsuccessful, 
chiefly on account of an impoverished treasury. The final 
outgrowth of his exertions was a conception far inferior to 
that of Gustaf. "I think it to be regretted," said Provost 
Stille, upon the occasion of the presentation of a portrait of 
Queen Christina to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 
" I think it to be regretted that while we possess the portrait 
of Queen Christina, we have not those of her great father, 
Gustaf Adolf, and of Oxenstierna. I firmly believe that 
those two men, in their scheme for colonizing the shores of 
the Delaware, are entitled to the credit of the first attempt 
in modern times to govern colonies for a higher purpose than 
that of enriching the commercial and manufacturing classes 
of the mother country. No doubt the expectation of extend- 
ing Swedish commerce was one of the motives which led to 
the founding of the colony, but it seems always to have been 
a subordinate one." Some Swedish historians claim that an 
emigration took place as early as 1627, under Gustaf Adolf; 
but this is no where substantiated. The Cabots had sighted 
Delaware as early as 1496, but they had in all probability 
passed it by. That Hudson saw the Delaware Bay, on Aug- 
ust 28, 1609, is confirmed by the log-book of his mate, Juet. 
And in 1623 the Dutch took possession of the shores of the 
Delaware. But there is no authority for stating that the 
Swedes ever visited this locality before 1638. At the age of 


six Christina succeeded her father, and from that time until 
she was eighteen, the kingdom was under regency, thus giv- 
ing to Oxenstiema an opportunity for deliberating upon the 
best methods for advancing the plans of Gustaf. In May, 
1635, he visited Holland on political business, and there saw- 
Samuel Blommaert, Swedish commissary at Amsterdam, and 
a partner in the Dutch West India Company. Prof. Odner, 
of the University of Lund, had the good fortune a few years 
ago to discover, in the Royal Archives of Sweden, a package 
containing letters from Blommaert to Oxenstiema, concern- 
ing the first expedition to Delaware. In these letters Blom- 
maert broaches the subject of a Swedish expedition to the 
coast of Guinea. About one year later a Dutchman named 
Spiring visited Oxenstiema in Sweden. He had recom- 
mended himself to the chancellor by a certain shrewd busi- 
ness capacity, and was employed in the Swedish service. 
Upon his return to Holland, after this visit, he wrote to 
Oxenstiema regarding commercial matters, and the letter is 
now in the Oxenstiema Collection of the Royal Archives at 
Stockholm. He had talked with Blommaert of the Guinea 
scheme, and had heard through him of a man who could give 
reliable information on the subject. This man was Peter 
Menewe, destined to become the second governor of the 
State of Delaware. Menewe was a native of Wesel, in the 
county of Cleves, Holland. He was a member of the Dutch 
West India Company, and had served as governor of New 
Netherlands, in America, from 1626 to 1632. This territory 
of which the Dutch held stout possession, extended from the 
Delaware to the Hudson, and in the capacity of governor, 
Menewe resided at New Amsterdam (now New York City). 


As the result of some disagreement, he was dismissed from 
his office in 1632, and returned to Holland, where he was 
brought to the notice of Blommaert by Peter Spiring. His 
prolonged residence in America had no doubt given him a 
thorough knowledge of the locality, and he was, of all avail- 
able persons, the one best qualified to lead the enterprise now 
proposed. These three Blommaert, Spiring, and Menewe, 
met at the Hague, early in 1637, and held a consultation, 
which it was deemed best, should be private, on account of 
the possible interference of the Dutch West India Company. 
It was found that the Guinea plan would involve too heavy 
an expenditure of means, and they therefore turned their 
thoughts to North America. Prof. G. B. Keen has trans- 
lated in full a letter from Menewe to Spiring, then in Sweden, 
in which he offers his services to the Swedish government, as 
the founder of a colony in "New Sweden," on the banks 
of the Delaware. The letter is extremely interesting, and 
Prof. Keen's translation may be found in the Pennsylvania 
Magazine, No. 4, Vol. VI. It is dated "Amsterdam, June 15, 
1636," and contains an estimate of the expense of such an 
expedition as was proposed; "half of which," he says, "I 
myself, will guarantee, Mr. Spiring assuming the other half, 
either on his own account, or for the crown, the same to be 
paid at once in cash." 

To this plan the Swedish government gave its cheerful 
consent. Half of the money was subscribed by Menewe, 
Blommaert, and their friends ; half by the three Oxenstiernas, 
Clas Fleming (virtual chief of the admiralty), and Spiring. 
"The consequences, of this design,"said the chancellor, "will 
be favorable to all Christendom, to Europe, to the whole 


world." He, too, like Gustaf Adolf, possessed the eye of a 
seer. On August 9, 1637, the admiralty issued a passport 
for two ships, the Kalmars Nyckel, and the Vogel Grip. The 
former was a man-of-war, the latter a sloop. Both were 
well supplied with provisions, and merchandise for traffic 
with the Indians. Besides Menewe, the only person ex- 
pressly named as taking part in the expedition are Henrik 
Huyghen, probably Menewe's brother-in-law, a Swedish sur- 
veyor named Mans Kling, and a religious instructor named 
Reorus Torkillus. The remainder of the emigrants, in the 
neighborhood of fifty, were largely composed of criminals — 
Swedes and Finns. That New Sweden was used as a place of 
banishment for miscreants, we have evidence in "A Proceed- 
ing of the Fiscal against and sentence of Gysbert Cornelissen 
Beyerlandt," in these words : 

"Thursday being the 3d February, 1639, Ulrich Leo- 
poldt, fiscal plaintiff, against Gysbert Cornelissen Beyer- 
landt. Plaintiff demands that defendant be sent to 
Fatherland and condemned, as quarrelsome persons usually 
are, who wound soldiers in the fort, as defendant has lately 
done in Fort Amsterdam. 

"The fiscal's demand on and against Gysbert Corne- 
lissen Beyerlandt having been seen, and everything being 
maturely considered, he is condemned to work with the 
company's blacks until the first sloop shall sail for the South 
River, where he is to serve the company and paj^the wounded 
soldier fl. 15, the surgeon fl. 10 for his fee, and the fiscal a fine 

Various causes conspired to hinder the embarkation of 
the little company until late in the autumn, when bad weather 


at sea still further opposed them, so that the voyage wasnot 
continued until neartheclose of 1637. Little is known of the 
details of this voyage. That it was very circuitous is im- 
plied from the course taken by Governor Printz several years 
later. Printz sailed south past the Portugese and Barbary 
coast, until he found the " Eastern passage" when he veered 
directly across toward America, landing at Antigua, where 
he spent Christmas. He then proceeded on his voyage past 
Virginia and Maryland, to Cape Henlopen, and landed at 
Fort Christina about six months from the time of leaving 
Stockholm. As Printz stopped at Antigua, it is probable 
that Menewe, who is supposed to have come directly here, 
was not so long in making the voyage. 

In 1630 the Dutch had taken possession of the banks of 
the Delaware, and early in the spring of 1631 planted a 
colony of more than thirty persons, just within Cape Hen- 
lopen, on Lewes creek. Here they built a little fort, and 
erected the arms of Holland. They named the country 
Swaanendale, and the water Godny's Bay. The care of the 
little settlement was entrusted to Gillis Hosset, first gov- 
ernor of Delaware. But Hosset soon fell into altercations 
with the Indians, who revenged the murder of one of their 
chiefs in the established Indian fashion, destroying the fort 
and all its occupants. From which period the Dutch aban- 
doned this particular locality of Delaware. Menewe landed 
at Cape Henlopen, and purchased of the Indians the same 
land which the Dutch, almost the same day, eight years 
before, had bought. He named the cape Paradise Point. 
The grant of land included all of that territory on the west 
side of the river from Cape Henlopen to the Falls of San- 


tickan, and extending several days journey inland, — accord- 
ing to some authorities, " to the gi-eat falls of the river Sus- 
quehanna, near the mouth of Conewaga creek." The land 
was surveyed by Mans Kling, and stakes were driven into 
the ground as landmarks. The deed was written in Dutch, 
as the Swedes were not yet familiar with the Indian lan- 
guage. It was subscribed to by five Indian chiefs, and sent to 
Sweden for preservation. Unfortunately the deed was 
destroyed by the fire of the royal palace in 1697. The Dutch 
at Fort Nassau protested against the invasion of the Swedes, 
and Governor Kieft, of New Amsterdam, formally objected, 
saying: "The whole South River of New Netherlands has 
been many years in our possession, and secured above and 
below by forts, and sealed with our blood. Which even hap- 
pened during your administration of New Netherlands and 
is well known to you, etc. Thus done (Thursday being the 
6th of May, Anno 1638." The South River trade was very 
important. Two vessels, leaving there in 1644, are said to 
have had a cargo of twenty-one hundred and twenty pack- 
ages of beavers, and thirty-six thousand four hundred and 
sixty-seven packages of tobacco. There was, therefore, con- 
sidering the circumstances, reasonable ground for dispute in 
the matter. Menewe, however, seems to have disregarded 
the protest of Kieft, and to have made no allusion to it in his 
letters home, for he says in a letter to Blommaert that he 
"traveled some miles into the country to discover whether 
there were any Christian people there, and made signals by 
firing cannon, but received no response to indicate their pres- 
ence." He continued his course up the river to a place called 
by the Indians Hopockahacking, but named by the Swedes 


Christina, after their queen, who was then eleven years old. 
At this point, on Minquas (Christina) Kil, Menewe appears 
to have determined to remain, from the first ; although Van- 
der Donk states that he (Menewe) represented to Vander 
Nederhorst, the agent of the Dutch West India Company in 
the South River country, that he was on his way to the West 
Indies, and had stopped to take in wood and water, after 
which he should continue his voyage. But upon the return of 
the Dutch, somewhat later, they found the Swedes cultivat- 
ing a little garden, the seeds of which had already sprungup. 
Upon their third visit they perceived Menewe's intentions to 
be unmistakable, for he had commenced the erection of a 
fort. In vain Governor Kieft protested, and at last suc- 
cumbed. Various reasons are given for this submission, which 
on the face of it is unaccountable, considering the superior 
numbers of the Dutch. One writer states that the charter of 
the Dutch West India Company forbade declaring war with 
a foreign state or the native Indians, without the consent of 
the states general of the United Netherlands. Another rea- 
son given for Kieft's uncharacteristic mildness on this occa- 
sion is the Protestant amity which existed between the 
Dutch and Swedes, and which found a bond of vmion in that 
period of disintegration. 

The Kalmars Nyckcl cast anchor at a natural wharf of 
rocks (foot of Sixth street, Wilmington), and upon these 
rocks a fort was built, whose southern rampart extended 
within a few feet of the creek. Directly under its walls, on 
one side of the creek, was a basin called the harbor, where 
vessels might lie out of the current, thecreek at this point be- 
ing navigable for large craft. Owing to alluvial deposits. 


this basin is now filled up, although the ojiginal outline as 
drawn by Lindstrom, surveyor to the Printz's expedition, is 
still perceptible, and accords with Lindstrom's plan. The 
fort was built on an elevation, accessible, as has been said, 
to large vessels on one side, but otherwise surrounded by 
bogs and sand-banks. The siteis now occupied by theexten- 
sive workshops of "Wilmington. The fort served for the 
residence of the garrison, and there was also a structure for 
the storing of provisions and merchandise. Both were of 
logs. Subsequent investigations have brought to light an 
iron bridle from which a portion of the head-stall is broken, 
and an irregular fragment of a common tin plate. Both of 
these articles are now in the possession of the Historical 
Society of Delaware. 

Here the Swedes seem to have prospered, for there exists a 
letter from Governor Kieft, dated July 31, 1638, in which he 
accuses Menewe of monopolizing the fur trade of the Dela- 
ware by underselling the Dutch and conciliating the Indians ; 
and, indeed, the Swedes are said to have exported thirty 
thousand skins during the first year of their residence in New 
Sweden. Upon the completion of the fort, and about three 
months after entering the Delaware, Menewe prepared to re- 
turn to Sweden. Kieft's letter mentioned above, also speaks 
of Menewe's leaving, which would imply that he went some- 
time in that month (July, 1638). He had taken all precau- 
tions for the welfare of the colony in his absence, and left 
twenty-three men under command of Mcins Kling, and Hen- 
rik Huyghan. To Kling was consigned the duties of a mili- 
tary commander, and to Huyghen the care of civil matters. 
They were directed to defend the fort, and continviethe traffic 


with the Indians. The Vogel Grip was sent to the West 
Indies in advance to exchange a cargo brought from Gothen- 
burg, and Menewe followed in the Kalmars Nyckel. He ar- 
rived at the island of St. Christopher in safety, where he 
exchanged his cargo, and, possibly, met his death. Con- 
cerning his fate there is much conflicting evidence. Nearly all 
writers agree in declaring that he returned to Fort Christina, 
where, after serving the colony for three j'-ears, he died, and 
was buried. But Prof. Odner has recently announced that 
this is incorrect, for which statement he presents what he 
believes to be indisputable evidence. In a letter to Blom- 
maert, dated June 8, 1639, Clas Fleming speaks of the 
necessity of providing a successor to Menewe at Fort 
Christina; and for his theory that Menewe was lost at sea, 
Prof. Odner refers to Blommaert's letters to the chancellor, 
dated November, 13, 1638, and January 28, 1640. The 
inferences are as follows : While exchanging his cargo at St. 
Christopher, Menewe was invited to board a Dutch vessel 
called The Flying Deer, and while thus entertained one of the 
terrific hurricanes known to that country arose, dismantling 
and foundering many ships. As neither The Flying Deer nor 
any of her crew was ever seen again, it would seem that 
Menewe perished in this manner. The Kalmars Nyckel 
escaped, and took every means for the recovery of her com- 
mander, but he was seen no more, and the vessel pursued her 
way to Sweden. Encountering rough winds which disabled 
her, she retired to a Dutch port, to await repairs and further 
orders. The sloop Vogel Grip returned to Fort Christina, 
took in a cargo of furs, and procceeded to Sweden, where 
she arrived at the close of May, 1639, making the voyage 


from Christina to Stockholm in five weeks. The little colony, 
then left to itself, became discouraged, and was about to 
abandon the settlement, when Peter Hollendare was ap- 
pointed the successor of Menewe, and Clas Fleming assumed 
the direction of the w^ork in Sweden. 

In 1639, the ship Kalmars Njrckel, which had suffered 
damages at sea,w^as repaired and equipped in Holland, with 
the view of despatching a second Swedish colony to Am- 
erica. Cornelis Van Vliet, a Dutch captain, who had been for 
some time in the Swedish service, was selected as a man 
well qualified to take command of the vessel ; but upon his 
appointment, there arose an unexpected difficulty in obtain- 
ing emigrants. This was supposed to be due to the fact that 
the long and, at that time, dangerous voyage, antecedent 
to settlement in a country inhabited by savages, presented 
inadequate attractions. But there seems to have existed, 
from the first, a personal prejudice against Van Vliet, which, 
as v\ras eventually proved, was not without grounds. No 
one volunteered to accompany him, and it was at last found 
necessary to make a draught upon such married soldiers as 
had evaded service, and others, guilty of evil offences, to- 
gether with their wives and children. Thus provided with 
emigrants, the perplexity of raising funds presented itself, the 
country having been drained of its resources by wars. But 
at this juncture, Blommaert and Spiring, with their custom- 
arj' zeal, came forward, and advanced the requisite means. 
The Kalmars Nyckel -was accordingly equipped, and provided 
with another crew, concerning whom little is known. The 
governor appointed to accompany the expedition, as succes- 
sor to Menewe, was Peter Hollendare, who signs himself 


Bidder (knight). Having thus far vanquished her obstacles, 
the Kalmars Nyckel left Gothenburg in the autumn of 1639, 
destined, however, to meet with still further discourage- 
ments. Upon entering the North Sea, she sprang a leak, and 
was obliged to put into Medemblik for repairs; again she 
started, only to encounter fresh disasters, until the growing 
dissatisfaction with both crew and vessel w^as vehemently 
oppressed. Van Vliet was accused of dishonesty in victual- 
ling the ship, and was convicted of the charge, upon the exa- 
mination which was immediately ordered by Blummaert. 
Mr. Spiring thereupon commanded Van Vliet's discharge, 
and appointed Pouwel Jansen (probably Dutch) in his place, 
a new crew also having been hired. But continued misfor- 
tunes beset them at sea, and it was not until February 7, 
1640, that the Kalmars Nyckel made the successful effort to 
sail from Texel. At this point, the name of Blommaert, so 
distinguished in the records of the earliest exposition, dis- 
appears from the current chronicles ; and it is supposed that 
he either died, or retired from the Swedish service, the former 
supposition being the more credible. 

Hollendare's colony landed at Christina, April 17, 
1640, a little more than two months after leaving the Texel. 
They found the settlement left by Menewe in good condition 
(Kieft's letters being the only authority to the contrary), but, 
for want of an executive head, and having heard nothing 
from home, they appear to have entertained doubts, at this 
period, as to the expediency of trying to maintain their 
national independence. It is probably that they would have 
allied themselves to the interests of the Dutch, had it not 
been for the Hollendare's arrival. Professor Odhner who has 


prosecuted the search with much zest, declares that he has 
been unable to discover any record as to the way in which 
Menewe's colony occupied their time after his departure, 
with the exception of a partially destroyed Schuldt Boeck, 
kept by Henrik Huyghen, from the year 1838, the contents 
of which are meagre and afford little information. Concern- 
ing the people whom Hollendare found upon his arrival, and 
he himself took with him, he says in a letter to the chancel- 
lor: "No more stupid or indifferent people are to be found 
in all Sweden than those which are now here." He appears 
to have encountered the opposition of Mans Kling, whose 
rough experience had taught him the impracticability of cer- 
tain theories advanced by Hollendare for dealing with the 
Dutch, and who may have found subordination to a novice 
in these matters hard to brook. Hollendare purchased land 
of the Indians for a distance of eight or nine Sw^edish miles 
above Fort Christina, erecting three pillars for a boundary. 
(These continually renewed purchases of land from the 
Indians remind one of an American child-expression, "Indian- 
giver," meaning one who presents a gift and then takes it 
back) . Incipient protests were made, from time to time, by 
the Dutch, but none of serious consequence. About this time 
the Swedes also purchased of the Indians a considerable 
tract of land on the east side of the river, having already 
bought, as has been stated, the territory on the west side. 
According to Hazard's Annals, a general sickliness prevailed 
among both Swedes and Dutch, during Hollendare's ad- 
ministration, and it was deemed expedient to take measures 
at once for the strengthening of the colony. 

In May, 1640, therefore. Mans Kling was sent to Swe 


den in the Kalmars Nyckel, for the purpose of laying before 
the government the necessities of the settlement; and in May, 
1641, Kling left Stockholm in the Charitas, a vessel which 
had been prepared at the above place, at a cost of about 
thirty-five thousand florins. He took with him a company 
of mining-people and "roaming Finns," the later being a race 
inhabiting the Swedish forests. They numbered thirty-two 
persons, four of whom were criminals, the remainder going 
either as servants to the company, or to better their condi- 
tion. Mans Kling was accompanied by his wife, a maid, and 
a little child. He was appointed to serve as lieutenant on the 
pay of forty rix-daler a month, beginning May 1, 1641, and 
was also granted by Clas Fleming, as a present, fifty rix- 
daler expectancy money. Sailing from Stockholm, Kling re- 
paired to Gothenburg, where he was joined by the Kalmars 
Nyckel, and (probably) other emigrants. The two vessels 
left Sweden, in 1641, constituting the third expedition to the 
Delaware. Soon after their arrival at Christina, a new com- 
pany, under the name of the West India or America com- 
pany, w^as formed, and it was decided that the crown should 
pay the salaries of a governor and such other officers as might 
be needed for the advancement of the colony. Hollendare's 
last letter to the chancellorwas dated December 3, 1640, and 
little more than the writer has stated is known of his admin- 

The fourth expedition, under Governor Printz, proved to 
be the largest, and in point of numbers, the most important 
of the expeditions sent to Delaware. The chief personages 
who took part in it were the governor, his wife, and daughter 
Armgott, the Rev. Johan Campanius (Holm) , and MSns Kling, 


who had returned to Sweden, in 1641. Johan Printz, lieut- 
enant-colonel in the Swedish army, was appointed Governor 
of Delaware, August 15, 1642. He was granted four hun- 
dred rix-Daler for traveling expenses, and two hundred dol- 
lars silver for his annual salary, to commence January 1, 
1643. His " Instructions" were dated at Stockholm, August 
15, 1642; and on the 30th of the same month, "a budget 
for the government of New Sweden" was adopted. Herein 
are mentioned a lieutenant, a surgeon, a corporal, a gunner, a 
trumpeter, besides twenty-four private soldiers ; also, in the 
civil list, a preacher (Campanius), a clerk ( Knut Persson), a 
provost (Johan Olafsson) , and a hangman, the wholeestimate 
of salaries amounting to three thousand and twenty rix-daler. 
The Company's "servants, "and those who went to improve 
their condition, were called freemen; while the malefactors 
were retained in slavery, and occupied ground appropriated 
for them, there being no intercourse between the two classes. 
According to Campanius, it had proved greatly to the detri- 
ment of the colony for criminals to be permitted to share in 
its advantages, and theembarkation,for this purpose of any 
person of bad repute was forbidden in Sweden. Such as had 
already come out were required to return, many of whom 
died at sea. The official " Instructions" instructed Printz to 
go to Gothenburg by land, as being more expeditious. 
Whether he did so, or whether he went in the ship Fatna, 
which sailed from Stockholm and was joined at Gothenburg 
by Sraaen and (acording to Acrelius) the Charitas, is un- 
certain. He was instructed to be governed by the skippers 
and officers of the ships, as to the course he should take; 
whether " to the north of Scotland, or through the channel 


between France and England." According to Acrelius, and 
other authorities, he sailed south. The expedition left Goth- 
enburg, November 1, 1642, and arrived at Christina, Febru- 
ary 15, 1643. The first official report sent by Printz from 
New Sweden is lost, but in a private letter to the chancellor, 
dated April 14, 1643, he says: "Itis a remarkably fine land, 
with all excellent qualities a man can possibly desire on 
earth." Yet, during this first year, there was great mor- 
tality among the Swedes, which Printz, in his report for 
1647, attributes to hard work and insufficient food; for 
upon receiving board and wages they did well enough. In 
this year, on the 7th of September, Reorus Torkillus, the 
clergyman who accompanied Menewe, died at Christina. In 
this year also, came Johan Papegaja, with a letter to the 
governor, recommending his "employment, protection, and 
advancement." He afterwards married the governor's 
daughter Armgott, a haughty lady, who exercised a tyran- 
nous disposition over the Swedes. On the 6th of November, 
1643, Queen Christina granted Tinicum Island to Printz, and 
here he established his residence. His mansion, which he 
named " Printz Hall," is said to have been "very handsome." 
Adjacent to it were an orchard and pleasure house ; and here 
also, Fort Gothenburg was erected, the whole Island being 
frequently spoken of as New Gothenburg. 

While the governor's arbitrary temper rendered him, in 
time, odiusto the people, his executive ability must command 
the highest praise. Neither Menewe nor Hollendare had 
done more than to break the roughest ground of the enter- 
prise, and it remained for their successor systematically to 
establish means for the permanent protection of the new set- 


tlement, Fort Christina having been repaired, and Fort 
Gothenburg completed. Of the forts projected and finished 
by Printz, the following are the chief: 

(1) Elfsborg. This was on the eastern side of the river, 
about two miles below Christina. It was usually garrisoned 
by twelve men commanded by a lieutenant, and had eight 
iron and brass guns. At this point of vantage, Printz is said 
to have exercised great authority over the Dutch, whose 
movements were thus worried and frastrated by him. The 
statement of most historians that he weighed at this time, 
Upwards of four hundred pounds, is regarded by Hazard as 
a mistake, and probably refers to a relative of the govern- 
or's. Certainly, -were it Printz himself, the active duties of a 
soldier must have soon reduced the formidable bulk. Al- 
though Elfsborg was considered a very valuable site, it 
became uninhabitable on account of the mosquitoes which 
infest New Jersey, and was soon abandoned. 

(2) Manajunk. This was a "handsome" little fort on 
the Schuylkill. It was made of logs, filled up with sand and 
stones, and surrounded by palisades cut very sharp at the 
top. It was mounted with great guns. 

(3) Korsholm. This fort was at Passajunk, in the neigh- 
borhood of Chinsessing, and was commanded by Swen 
Schute. On the other side of it was a substantial house 
called Wasa, built of hickory, and two stories high. It was 
defended by freemen, although not strictly a fort. About a 
quarter of amile further up, on the" Minquas Road," Printz 
built a similar strong house, and also the first mill in Dela- 
ware, calling the place Mondal. Private residences and plan- 
tations rapidly sprang up, centering chiefly upon Tinicura 


Island. The place of Olaf Stille, a Swede who was much 
beloved by the Indians, is indicated on Lindstrom'smap,and 
was probably on the Schuylkill, southwest of Philadelphia. 
From him is descended Provost Stille, of the University of 
Pennsylvania, the name being one of the very few which re- 
main uncorrupted. Thus the colony was strengthened and 
enabled to control the Indian trade of the Schuylkill. That 
Printz was not always scnjpulous in his methods of gaining 
an end, is certain, but that he endeavored to serve his coun- 
try in the best way compatible with his vindictive and 
ambitious temperament must be conceded. This much may 
at least be said of him. He was the first real pioneer which 
the State of Delaware had seen, and upon his retiring from 
the service the prosperity of the colony steadily declined. 

The Indian policy pursued by the Swedes, in accordance 
with the instructions given to Printz, cannot be over- 
estimated. The important paragraph contained in Article 9 
has already been quoted. Article 5 reads : " The governor, 
God willing, have arrived in New Sweden, he must, for his 
better information, bear in mind that the boundaries of 
which our subjects have taken possession, in virtue of the 
articles of contract entered into with the wild inhabitants of 
the country, as the rightful lords, extend," etc., etc. That 
this policy, steadily pursued by the Swedes, and afterwards 
imitated by Penn, was ever abandoned by the American 
nation, remains a lasting shame. In the financial burden 
and moral obloquy attachingto our Indian Bureau, we have 
the legitimate fruits of the course we have pursued. 

In the year 1644, the ship Fama returned to Sweden with 
a cargo, which we give in Printz's own words: "One 


thousand three hundred whole beavers, 299 half beavers, 
537 third parts of beavers ; great and small together, 2,139 
beavers; again, tobacco, 20.467 pounds (Swedish), in 77 
hogsheads ; again, my own tobacco — which partly I received 
from foreigners and partly I planted myself — 7,200 pounds, 
in 28 hogsheads, sent home to the shareholders in Sweden, 
that they may either reimburse me at 8 sty fver -per pound, or 
graciously allow me to sell it elsewhere." On the 25th of 
November, 1645, a great calamity befell the colony, which 
may best be described in the governor's words: "Between 
10 and 11 o'clock, one Swen Wass, a gunner, set Fort New- 
Gothenburg on fire; in a short time all was lamentably burnt 
down, and not the least thing saved except the dairy. The 
people escaped, naked and destitute. The winter immediately 
setin bitterly cold" (as cold, he says elsewhere, as he had ever 
experienced in northern Sweden). "The rivers and all the 
creeks froze up, and nobody was able to get near us (because 
New Gothenburg is surrounded by water) . The sharpness of 
the winter lasted until the middle of March ; so that if some 
rye and corn had not been unthrashed, I myself, and all the 
people with me would have starved to death. But God 
maintained us with that small quantity of provisions until 
the new harvest. By this sad accident the loss of the com- 
pany is 4,000 riks-daler." His personal loss was estimated 
at 5,584 riks-daler. Whether his own house was destroyed I 
am unable to discover. According to his own account it 
would be inferred that it was, while Ferris states that it 
remained standing for more than one hundred and twenty 
years, "when it was accidentally destroyed by fire." What 
might have been the motive of Swen Wass for committing 


such a deed can only be surmised. He was sent home in 
irons and remanded to the Swedish government for justice. 
The buildings were reconstructed as soon as possible.. 

On the 1st of October, 1646, the Swedish ship Haij 
(sometimes called The Golden Shark) arrived, bringing the 
first news that had been received from home in two years and 
four months. She was sent back in the following February 
with a cargo of "24,177 pounds of tobacco, the whole in 
101 casks, of which 6,920 pounds were planted in New 
Sweden, 17,257 pounds were purchased." The governor and 
other officers of the colony had received instructions to draw 
their salaries from the duties on tobacco i but as the revenues 
from this product had not been large, it was found necessary 
for them to obtain their subsistence from other sources. It 
was probably with regard to this period that Stuyvesant 
wrote to the commissary at the Delaware River: "The 
Swedish governor receives no succor, nor has he to expect 
any for the present, as I have been informed, trustw^orthily." 
During the year 1646, violent altercations with the Dutch 
occurred, and, according to Acrelius, the arms of Holland, 
which had been erected at Santickan, were torn down by 
the Swedes. In this year also, a wooden church deco- 
rated in Swedish fashion, and situated on Tinicum Island, 
was consecrated September 4, by the Rev. Johan |Cam- 

Concerning the year 1647, we obtain an inferential 
account from Printz's Report, dated February 20th of that 
year, and sent to the chancellor with Johan Papegaja. The 
entire number of souls in the colony at that time w^as one 
hundred and eighty-three. The quarrels between the Dutch 


and the Swedes had continued, and Printz writes with exas- 
peration : " It is of the utmost necessity for us to drive the 
Dutch from the river, for they oppose us on every side. (1.) 
They destroy our trade everywhere. (2.) They strengthen 
the savages with guns, shot, and powder, publicly trading 
with these, against the edict of all Christians. (3.) They 
stir up the savages against us, who, but for our prudence, 
would already have gone too far. (4.) They begin to buy 
land from the savages, within our boundaries, which we had 
purchased eight years ago, and have the impudence in several 
places to erect the arms of the West India Company, calling 
them their arms ; moreover, they give New Sweden the name 
of New Netherland, and dare to build their houses 
there." Hudde declares that when he sought to present the 
earlier claims of the Dutch, the governor replied that "the 
devil was the oldest possessor of hell, but that he sometimes 
admitted a younger one." As to the English, the Report 
says: "I have at last been able, with the authority of Her 
Majesty, to drive them from hence." In the same Report he 
announces that the trade has declined, and that some of the 
most useful members of the colony have intimated their 
wish to return home; among others, Henrik Huyghen, 
whose services were very valuable, and the clergyman, Cam- 
panius. He himself begs to be released from his post, and to 
return to Sweden, in the next ship. The chancellor's reply is 
to the effect that Printz could not yet be spared, and that it 
would be advisable to raise the salary of Campanius, as an 
inducement for him to remain. In this year, the Svanen ar- 
rived with goods from home, although the chancellor had 
been unable to fulfill all of the governor's requests thus soon. 


The reply of the chancellor was brought back by Lieuten- 
ant Johan Papegaja. 

The 3'ear of 1649 recorded the murder of two Swedes by 
the Indians, the first occurrence of the kind that had been 
chronicled. As a rule the relations of the savages with the 
Swedes were of the most friendly nature, although Printz 
complained at times that when the latter no longer had 
what the Indians wanted, they were liable to trouble with 
them, there being, apparently, no other mode of expressing 
amity. Campanius gives a quaint account of an Indian 
council called to discuss the advisability of destroying the 
Swedes, who no longer had "cloth, blue, red, or brown ;" nor 
"kettles, brass, lead, guns, nor powder." The verdict, how- 
ever, was, that "We, native Indians, will love the Swedes, 
and the Swedes shall be our good friends. * * * We shall 
not make war upon them and destroy them. This is fixed 
and certain. Take care to observe it." The same writer 
accords to Printz "a complete suit of clothes, with coat, 
breeches, and belt, made by these barbarians, with their 
wampum, curiously wrought with the figures of all kinds of 
animals" — the extravagant cost being "some thousand pieces 
of gold." For the next two or three years, the struggle be- 
tween Swedes and Dutch for supremacy, was a pretty even 
matter, the declining strength of the Swedes being supplied 
by re-enforced aggressiveness, while the Dutch remained supe- 
rior in numbers. 

In 1G51 the Dutch built Fort Cassimer ( now New Cas- 
tle, Delaware), against which Printz protested withont 
effect. The name of the fort was a singular selection, inas- 
much as it is Swedish rather than Dutch. The governor's 


desire to return to Sweden had been steadily increasing, and 
he renewed his appeal to be recalled. The colony was degen- 
erating, less because of therelaxationof Printz's efforts than 
of the insuflScient response from home. Clas Fleming died in 
1644, and his successor had not been appointed. Queen 
Christina, contemplating the abdication of her throne, and 
inheriting none of her father's love for the enterprise, mani- 
fested little interest in the welfare of the colony. In Stuyve- 
sant, Printz had found his match for love of power and 
unyielding determination. Under his administration, the 
strength of the Dutch was augmented, and, impatient at the 
delay of the government in recalling him from a situation 
which was becoming highly preplexing, Printz sailed for 
home before the arrival of his order to return, which was 
dated December 12, 1653. He left his administration in the 
hands of his son-in-law. Lieutenant Papegaja, who, from 
prolonged residence there, must have been familiar with the 
requirements of the office. Some of the colonists applied to 
Stuyvesant for permission to come under the jurisdiction and 
protection of the West India Company, a request which, for 
reasons politic, was not granted. Upon his return to Swe- 
den Printz was made a general, and in 1658 he was 
appointed governor of the district of Jonkoping. He died in 
1663. Johan Papegaja, Vice-Governor of Delaware for a 
period of eighteen months, was succeeded by Johan Claudius 
Rising, in 1654. 

On the 12th day of December, 1653, the College of Com- 
merce of Sweden nominated Johan Claudius Rising as Com- 
missary and Assistant Councillor to the Governor of New 
Sweden. Rising was a native of the then Swedish province 


of Pommerania, and had been court-martialed for some mili- 
tary oflfense during the Thirty Years' War. He was accom- 
panied on his expedition to New Sweden by Peter Lindstrom, 

royal engineer, a clergyman named Peter , and various 

officers, both civil and military. He was allowed 1000 rix 
da/erfor traveling expenses, and an appropriation of 1,200 
dollars silver per annum, together with such emoluments as 
might be derived from the South Company. He was also to 
have as much land in New Sweden as could be cultivated by 
twenty or thirty peasants. Although appointed as assist- 
ant-councillor, or lieutenant-governor. Rising at once 
received precedence from Papegaja, who had served as vice- 
governor since Printz's departure; so that in Rising was 
vested the office of fifth governor of Delaware. He was 
directed to strengthen the Swedish possessions on South 
River, and to subjugate the Dutch by measures of amity, as 
far as possible. He sailed from Gothenburg early in the year 
1654, in the ship Aren, Captain Swensko. Acrelius states 
that so great was the number of emigrants desirous of accom- 
panying this expedition, that hundreds were left behind for 
w^ant of sufficient passage-room for them. 

They arrived in the Delaware, or Southriver, on Trinity 
Sunday, in the latter part of May, 1654. Sailing up the 
river as far as the Dutch Fort Cassimir — now New Castle, 
Delaware — they fired a salute of two guns, in response to 
which two men came dow^n to learn the character and inten- 
tions of their visitors. They returned to their commandant, 
one Gerrit Bikker, and informed him that it was a Swedish 
vessel, with a new governor, who demanded the surrender of 
Fort Cassimir, claiming that the ground upon which it stood 


was Swedish property. Astonished at this presumption, 
Bikker took time to digest it, during which Rising informed 
himself with more certainty as to the condition of the Dutch 
garrison. Assuring himself that it was feeble he landed with 
thirty men, who, dispersing themselves over the fort, again 
demanded its surrender at the point of the sword. Bikker, 
stupidly bewildered at the unexpectedness of the attack, and 
commanding but ten or twelve men, yielded his side-arms, 
and attempted no defence. The gallant Lieutenant Gyllen- 
gren took possession of the guns, and, striking down the 
Dutch flag, raised the Swedish colors in its stead. The fort 
was named Fort Trinity, in memory of the day of its surren- 
der. Bikker complained bitterly to Stuyvesant of the ruth- 
less and inhuman manner in which he and his men were 
driven from the fort; while Acrelius, on the other hand, 
declares that a correct inventory of the property was taken, 
and that each man was permitted to remove his ow^n at dis- 
cretion. They were at liberty to leave the place, or to swear 
allegiance to the Swedish crown. Fearful of the consequences 
of falling into the hands of the Dutch, after his surrender, 
Bikker took the oath of allegiance. Concerning this affair, 
the Dutch records state: "We hardly knovir which aston- 
ished us more, the attempt of the newly arrived Swedish 
troops to make themselves masters of the Southriver and our 
fort, or the infamous surrender of the same by our command- 
ant." Of strategic genius Rising made no exhibition on this 
occasion, but for prompt and audacious sang froid, he maybe 
heartily commended. He rebuilt the fort, and a plan of it 
was drawn by Engineer Lindstrom, a copy of which was, 
and may still be, in the possession of Mr. Thomas Westcott, 


of Philadelphia, although the original was destroyed in the 
fire at Stockholm in 1697. Rising now found it incumbent 
to renew the former treaties with the Indians, and a meeting 
was therefore appointed for June 17, 1654, at Printz Hall, 
on Tinicum Island; when, flattered and pacified with gifts, 
the Indians reiterated their promises of friendship and the 
council closed with feasting and firing of guns. The energies 
of Rising and Lindstrom were largely directed to investiga- 
tion and classification of the resources of the country, which 
were duly reported to the home government. Rising, who 
came to New Sweden without a wife, and subsequently 
appealed to the chancellor for such a commodity, took up his 
residence in the fort at Christina. 

In August, 1654, Oxenstierna, Chancellor of Sweden, died ; 
and, upon the abdication of Christina, the reins of govern- 
ment fell into the hands of her cousin, Charles Gustaf. In 
the meantime, the Dutch, who had never recovered from their 
indignation at the seizure of Fort Cassimir, meditated re- 
venge ; and it was not long before the instruments of retali- 
ation were placed by auspicious circumstances in their hands. 
In the latter part of September, 1654, the Swedish ship 
Haij, a small and weather-worn vessel of forty t^ fifty tons 
burthen, met with a curious misadventure. She was com- 
manded by Hendrik Van Elswyk, of Liibeck, Factor of the 
High Crown of Sweden, and by some error or culpable 
intention of the pilot, was guided out of course into the 
North River, to a position behind Staten Island. Elswyk 
was compelled to send to New Amsterdam for a pilot to re- 
lieve them of their difiiculty, and thus gave the Dutch infor- 
mation of his presence. The Haij, with its cargo, was seized 


on suspicion of evil intentions, and while the crew were per- 
mitted to remain on the vessel, Elswyk was sent to the 
Southriver with instructions to Rising to settle the difficulty 
with the Governor of New Netherland. At a meeting of the 
Director-General and High Council, at New Amsterdam, on 
the 20th of October, 1654, a formal oiTerof the restitution of 
the ship Haij, with its effects, was made to Rising, on the 
condition that Fort Cassimir should be restored to theDutch. 
Assurance was also given that in such an event, friendly and 
neighborly intercourse would be resumed. A pass was 
accordingly issued for Rising to visit New Amsterdam, but, 
tenacious of Fort Cassimir, he refused to make such a settle- 
ment. Elswyk addressed the following protest against the 
seizure of the Haij, to the Director-General and Council : 

"Noble, Honorable Director-General," etc : " On the 22d 
of September last I landed, either through the carelessness, 
or perhaps wanton malice of my pilot, in this river of New 
Netherland, with the ship Hay, intrusted to me by the Royal 
Swedish General Chamber of Commerce, on behalf of the Hon- 
orable South Company. I sent some of my people in a boat 
here to New Amsterdam, as to good friends and neighbors," 
[The gloss of amity between the Dutch and Swedes at this 
time appears to have been very thin, and an illustration of 
the saying, " A man convinced against his will, is of the same 
opinion still."], "to engage a pilot, who, for a money con- 
sideration, would bring us to the Southriver. Arrived here, 
my men, both bom Swedes, were taken to the guard-house, 
and I was fetched from the place where I was by the Honor- 
able Vice-Commander with eight musketeers, and placed 
here in the house of Sergeant Daniel Litschoe, but the ship 


itself was also brought up from the Raritan Kil, by the 
Honorable Director-General, our flag hauled down, and the 
ship continually occupied by soldiers and people. Now, 
although it is asserted that his noble Honor, Johan Rising, 
Director of the Government of New Sweden, had taken your 
Honor's pretended Fort Cassimir, and that, therefore, your 
Honors have seized this ship with its cargo, such a pretext 
has no basis or foundation whatever, because the said Fort 
was erected in 1651 by his noble Honor, your Director-Gen- 
eral, rather by overwhelming force than with right and 
equity, upon the territory of H. R. M. of Sweden, our most 
gracious Queen; the then Swedish governor protesting 
against it, so that the aforesaid Honorable Governor, Johan 
Rising, has not taken it from your noble Honors, but has 
only repossessed himself of what belongs to Her Royal Maj- 
esty of Sweden, herself," etc., etc. 

This the Dutch regarded as a mere begging of the ques- 
tion, and they continued to reiterate their grievance in the 
unlawful and insufferable taking of Fort Cassimir. They 
relaxed none of their claim to their legitimate possession of 
it, and openly expressed their suspicion that the ship Haij 
had "lost her way" with no friendly intentions. Tlieynow, 
accordingly, took measures for hostile advances against the 
Southriver Swedes. The ship Balance, armed with thirty- 
six guns, and commanded by Frederick de Coninck, was in- 
structed to proceed directly from Holland to New Nether- 
land, and there to await further orders. She arrived on 
the 15th of August. On the 19th a call for volunteers was 
issued. "If some lovers of the flourishing, well-being, and 
safety of this newly -opened province of New Netherland are 


willing and inclined to serve the Director-General and Council, 
either for love or a reasonable salary and board money, they 
will please address themselves to his Honor, the noble Direct- 
or-General himself, or to one of the honorable gentlemen of 
the Council, and inform them," etc. Signed, 

"P. Stuyyesant, 


'Cornelius van Tienhoven." 
An order to captains of vessels in the harbor was also issued, 
to furnish men, ammunition, and provisions. Such as refused 
were impressed. Van Tienhoven and Coninck were ordered 
to board ships, and request amicably, or, if refused, com- 
mand from each ship two men, two hundred pounds of cod- 
fish, two or three small barrels of groats, one barrel of meat, 
with one barrel of bacon, and three hundred pounds of 
bread; also as much powder as they conveniently could 
spare. The French privateer, UEsperance, was also char- 
tered. Jews were exempted from service, owing to the 
antipathy of other soldiers to do service in conjunction with 
them. A tax of sixty-five stivers per month, "until further 
orders," was, however, imposed upon each Jew over sixteen 
and under sixty years. " When your Honors shall have car- 
ried the expedition to a successful end," says a letter in the 
Dutch Records, dated May 26, 1665, "the land upon which 
Fort Christina stands, with a certain amount of garden 
land for the cultivation of tobacco, shall be left to the peo- 
ple, as they seem to have bought it w^ith the knowledge and 
consent of the Company, under the condition that the afore- 
said Swedes shall consider themselves subjects of this State 
and Company. This for your information and government." 


On the 5th of September the expedition sailed for the 
Southriver. It consisted of seven vessels and between six 
and seven hundred men. Upon arriving at Fort Cassimir 
they at once took measures for seizing the fort. SwenSchute, 
was the commander in charge, and had been informed of the 
intentions of the enemy. Rising had instructed him to hold 
the fort, and above all, not to allow the Dutch to pass with- 
out firing upon them. Schute disobej'ed the latter injunc- 
tion, and permitted the Dutch fleet to pass the fort without 
molestation, the force of his own garrison convincing him 
that discretion was the better part of valor. Upon being 
commanded to surrender he begged time to consult with Ris- 
ing, but this was refused. Meanwhile fifty Dutch sailors had 
established themselves in the passes between Port Cassimir 
and Fort Christina, thus cutting off Swedish communication 
and hope of relief. At this, Swen Schute claimed the privi- 
lege of sending an open letter to Rising, but this also was 
denied, and accordingly, on Saturday morning, September 
16, 1655, Schute boarded the Balance, and signed the capit- 
ulation. He was severely censured by Rising for allowing the 
Dutch to pass the fort, without firing, and for subscribing 
to the capitulation on board a Dutch vessel, instead of in 
"some indifferent place." The surrender was allowed to 
be inevitable, owing to the overpowering strength of the 
Dutch forces. The entire population of Swedes on the 
Southriver at that time numbered something like four hun- 
dred, including women and children, in opposition to whom 
the Dutch presented six or seven hundred armed men. Swen 
Schute, together with other Swedes, took the oath of alle- 
giance to the Dutch. 


Perceiving that designs were entertained against Fort 
Christina, Rising sent Elswyk to remonstrate with Stuyve- 
sant, for seeking to obtain possession of the entirely legiti- 
mate property of the Swedes. Not to be dissuaded, how- 
ever, the Dutch besieged Fort Christina, in the rear. The 
Swedish garrison consisted of but thirty men, with insuffi- 
cient ammunition and provisions. Hopeless of immediate 
success, and unable to sustain a prolonged resistance, Rising, 
therefore, after a gallant defence, surrendered Fort Christina 
on the following terms : 

1. "That all cannon, ammunition, provisions, and sup- 
plies, together with other things belonging to the Crown of 
Sweden, which are in and around Fort Christina, shall belong 
to and be preserved as the property of the Swedish Crown 
and the Southern Company, and shall be under the power of 
said Governor, to take it away or deliver it to Governor 
Stuyvesant, with the proviso that it shall be given up on 

2. " Governor John Rising, his superior and inferior offi- 
cers, his officials and soldiers shall march out of the fort 
with drums and trumpets playing, flags flying, matches 
burning, with hand and side-arms, and balls in their mouths. 
They shall first be conducted toTinnecuck [Tinicum] Island, 
to which they shall be taken in safety, and placed in the fort 
which is there, until the Governor sets sail upon the ship 
Waegh, [ The Balance] upon which said Governor Rising, his 
people and property, shall be conducted to Sandy Huck, situ- 
ated five Holland miles the other side of New York, under 
safe conduct, within at least fourteen days. Also the Gov- 
ernor and Factor Elswyk shall in the meantime have allowed 


them four or five servants for attending to their business, 
whilst the others are lodged in the Fortress. 

3. "All writings, letters, instructions, and acts belong- 
ing to the Crown of Sweden, the Southern Company, or pri- 
vate persons which are found in Fort Christina, shall remain 
in the Governor's hands to take away at his pleasure, with- 
out being searched or examined. 

"4. None of the Crown's or Company's officers, soldiers, 
officials, or private persons shall be retained here against 
their wishes, but shall be allowed to go without molestation 
along with the governor, if they so desire. 

5. "That all the officers, soldiers, and officials of the 
Crown and of the Southern Company, and also all private 
persons shall retain their goods unmolested. 

6. "If some officials and Freemen desire to depart, but 
are not able to go with the Governor and his party, they 
shall be allowed the time of one year and six weeks in which 
to sell their land and goods, provided that they do not take 
the oath of allegiance for the period that they remain. 

7. " If any of the Swedes or Finns are not disposed to go 
away. Governor Rising may take measures to induce them 
to do so; and if they are so persuaded, they shall not be 
forcibly detained. Those who choose to remain shall have 
the liberty of adhering to their own Augsburg confession, as 
also to support a minister for their instruction. 

8. "Governor Rising, Factor Elswyk, and other supe- 
rior and inferior officers, soldiers, and Freemen, with all 
their property which they wish to take away, shall be pro- 
vided by the Governor-General with a sound ship, which 
shall receive them at Sandy Huck and convey them to Texel, 


and thence immediately by a coaster, galliote, or other suit- 
able vessel to Gothenburg, without charge; with the proviso 
that said coaster, galliote, or other vessel shall not be de- 
tained, for which the said Governor Rising shall be an- 

9. "In case Governor Rising, Factor Elswyk, or any 
other official belonging to the Swedish Crown, or the South 
Company, has incurred any debts on account of the Crown 
or of the Company, they shall not be detained therefor 
within the jurisdiction of the Governor-General. 

10. "Governor Rising has full freedom to make himself 
acquainted with the conduct of Commander Schute and that 
of his officers and soldiers in regard to the surrender of 
Sandhuk Fort [ Fort Cassimir J . 

11. "Governor Rising promises that between the 15th 
and the 25th of September, he will withdraw his people 
from Fort Christina, and deliver it up to the Governor- 

"Done and signed the 15-25th of September, 1655, on 
the parade between Fort Christina and the Governor-Gener- 
al's camp. "Peter Stuyyesant, 

"John Rising." 

SECRET article. 

"It is further capitulated that the Captain who is to 
convey Captain John Rising and the Factor Henry Elswyk 
shall be expressly commanded and ordered to put the afore- 
said Governor Rising and the Factor Elswyk on shore, 
either in England or in France ; and that the Director-Gen- 
eral shall lend to Governor Rising, either in money or bills of 
exchange, the sum of three hundred pounds Flemish, which 


the said GoYernor Rising engages to repay to the Govemor • 
General, or his order, in Amsterdam, within six months after 
the receipt. In the meantime he leaYes as a pledge and 
equiYalent the property of the Crown and Southern Com- 
pany now giYcn up. Hereof we giYe two copies signed by 
the contracting parties. 

"Concluded September 15-25th, on the parade between 
Fort Christina and GoYernor-General Stuyvesant's camp. 

"Perer Stuyyesant. 
"John Rising." 

Nineteen Swedes subscribed to the oath of allegiance to 
the Dutch. Rising did not immediately return to Sweden, 
and the arms and ammunition of the Crown were not re- 

Thus fell, after an independence of seventeen years, the 
Swedish political power on the Delaware. Had it not been 
for the rashness of Rising in stirring up the enmity of the 
Dutch, it might still have survived. Yet the chief cause of 
its subjugation, doutless, lay in the magnificent maritime re- 
sources of Holland, as opposed to the poverty of Sweden in 
that respect. Help came slowly and insufficiently to the 
Swedes from home, at this time, while Holland had but to 
beat the drum in her streets, and the colony of New Nether- 
land was promptly re-enforced. 

Not thus ignominiously perished the seeds of moral in- 
tegrity and thrift planted by the Swedes upon the Delaware 
river. Scattered broad-cast, they bloom today in countless 
American homes. 

The First Norwegian Immigration, 


The Sloop Party of 1825. 

—BY — 


Many writers have discussed the origin, cause, and effect 
of the first Norwegian immigration to the United States in 
the nineteenth century. It would be difficult, indeed, to find 
a subject which has been treated so extensively, and at the 
same time in such an unsatisfactory manner, as that topic. 
This is not to be wondered at, considering the chaotic condi- 
tion of the material which had to be relied upon. Hardly 
any of the very first Norwegian immigrants, say from 1800 
to 1840, were educated men ; and, of course, they never 
kept any kind of diaries or written memorandums. "Kleng 
Peerson looked upon himself as the pathfinder and father of 
the Norwegian immigration." But the "father" does not 
seem to have left behind him any productions of his own in 
regard to his relation with the early Norwegian immigrants; 
and not a single one of the members of the Sloop family, 



who sailed from Stavanger in 1825, appears to have pub- 
lished anything with reference to the journey from Norway 
to America until nearly fifty years later, and then only a 
brief and unimportant communication in a Norwegian- Amer- 
ican newspaper (1). 

As far as is known, it was not until 1839, eighteen years 
after Kleng Peerson's first landing in America, that any 
account of the Sloop party appeared in print. This was 
the little book by Ole Rynning, who came to this country a 
couple of years before its publication. The work was in- 
tended to be an emigrant guide rather than a history, and 
hardly more than two pages are devoted to the Sloop folks. 
The author asserts, however, that some of the people sent 
letters to Norway during their first years of residence upon 
American soil ; but none has ever been made public, and, in 
all probability, not even preserved. From forty-five to 
seventy years had passed before any serious attempts w^ere 
made to gather materials with reference to the Sloop party, 
and all publications dealing with the subject are based upon 
the assertions of the immigrants themselves or their chil- 
dren (2). The lack of documentary evidence in the case is so 
obvious that no writer on the topic has been able to reproduce, 
or even to mention, a single original document in support of 
his assertions or theories. A few^ new^spaper notices referred 
to the Norwegians at the time of their arrival in New York 

(1) B. B. Anderson's "Fiiat Chaptei of Noiwegian Immigration," p. 79. 

(2) Prof H. B. Anderson, in hia history, "The First Chapter of Norwegian ImmigrK- 
tion,'* claims, on page 93, 'to have talked with eight of the Sloop passengers, and corres- 
ponded with two more.' But some of these were infants when thay crossed the Atlantic, 
and consequently their assertions in regard to the journey can only be taken as hearsay 
eyidence. This volume was published in 1895, nearly three-quarters of a centnry after 
the people had left their native land. 


in 1825, and these notices are contradictory in detail. In 
1896 the writer of this article received a letter from Rev. 
Emil Riis, Lutheran clergyman at Skjold, who had examined 
Kirke-bbgerne at that place and at Tysvar, from which 
places several of the passengers on the sloop hailed. But 
there is no record in these books of any persons having 
removed to America during the years of 1820-28. The 
entire absence of any official account of the movement is 
remarkable, especially as it was not unlawful to emigrate 
in those days. Could it be possible that the Quakers objected 
to comply with the civil law of the land in regard to secur- 
ing permission to discard their citizenship, which they con- 
sidered to be a very heavy burden ? But, apparently, all the 
emigrants were not Brethren, or even dissenters from the 
state church ; and their motive for secretly deserting their 
native land, as they must have done, is even more mysterious 
than the conduct of the followers of George Fox. A copy of 
Stavanger's Toldbog for 1825 has been secured through 
the courtesy of N. R. Bull, secretary of the government 
statistical department in Kristiania, who positively asserts 
that there is no record in Toldbogeme of the sloop Restau- 
ration after the year 1825. But the 27th of June of said year 
the sloop, OAvned by Johannes Stene and belonging to the 
Stavanger district, but built in Egersund, was registered to 
sail for America and elsewhere with a cargo of iron, shipped 
by three or four different firms. L. 0. Helland is reported as 
being captain, but no mention is made of any passengers. 
In this connection it should be observed that Helland is not 
mentioned at all in Prof. Anderson's First Chapter of Nor- 
wegian Iznmigratioxi, although all the people who are 


supposed to have participated in the^voyage are enumerated, 
and it is claimed that Lars Olson was captain, and Lars 
Larson the principal owner of the sloop. 

Under such circumstances it is not strange that the wri- 
ters on the subject should disagree, at least in detail; for in the 
absence of authentic records, and during the lapse of a quar- 
ter to three-quarters of a century, what a chance for imagina- 
tion and misrepresentation to supplant the real facts ! Per- 
haps all who have had any experience in gathering historical 
data on settlements, have found that different individuals, 
who have all participated in the affairs of the settlement, 
give conflicting accounts of comparatively recent events. A 
large number of people are unable to recall incidents of 
their own lives which happened a few years before. Several 
of the men consulted by the writer of this article have for- 
gotten when they were married, and some do not know 
when or where they were born. 

In 1807 Denmark and England were at war with each 
other. During that year some Norwegians, who of course 
were subjects of the king of Denmark, were captured by 
the foe. During their confinement on a prison ship near 
London they received pamphlets containing Barclay's Apol- 
ogy ; and at one time, in 1814, Stephen Grellet preached to 
seven hundred prisoners, most of whom were Danes and Nor- 
wegians, and about forty of them appear to have been con- 
verted to Quakerism. After peace had been declared in 1814, 
the prisoners returned to their native land, and the Friends 
began to advocate the humanitarian doctrines of George 
Fox among the descendants of the savage Vikings of the 
North, especially in and around Stavanger and Kristiania. 


One of them, Lars Larson, had remained in London one year 
after his release, employed in the family of the noted Quaker 
and philanthropist, William Allen. Larson, on his return 
to his native city, Stavanger, became very active in promul- 
gating the new doctrines [in the vicinity of his birthplace. 
During their seven years of harsh imprisonment by a pro- 
fessedly Christian nation, the Norwegian Friends had become 
attached to the religion of peace, which they tried to hand 
down to their children, and to spread among their neighbors. 
But in doing so they came in conflict with the civil and 
ecclesiastical powers of the land. It must be remembered 
thatrcHgious tolerance was just then becoming a virtue, or 
a fashion, in Europe, and a necessity in America. Norway 
had not quite reached that stage. Skandinaven, com- 
menting on this subject, said, among other things: "The 
fact that no state church was established in this country at 
the time of the adoption of the constitution, was simply due 
to an historical necessity, and was not the result of greater 
reUgious toleration than was found in other countries at 
that time. Most of the different church denominations 
were represented in the colonies, and the only religious 
dogma on w^hich they could agree, was that no state church 
ought to be established." 

The constitution of Norway, adopted in 1814, has been 
much praised for its liberal and humanitarian principles. 
But at least certain parts of it seem to have been prepared 
with too much haste, and approved without due considera- 
tion. This especially appears to have been the case in regard 
to the stipulation about religion. By a large majority 
the convention at Eidsvold adopted the following, which 


was intended to be the constitutional creed of the na- 
tion: "The Evangelical Lutheran religion shall remain the 
official religion of the state. All Christian reHgious sects 
shall be granted liberty of religious Tvorship ; but Jews and 
Jesuits shall be kept excluded from the kingdom. Monastic 
orders must not be tolerated. Those inhabitants of the 
country w^ho profess the public religion of the state shall be 
obUged to educate their children in the same." 

But when the constitution became public property, article 
II., w^hich contains the legal reUgious dogma of Norway, 
reads as follows : " The Evangelical Lutheran religion shall 
remain the official religion of the state. Those inhabitants 
who profess it shall be obliged to educate their children in the 
same. Jesuits and monastic orders must not be tolerated. 
Jews shall be kept excluded from the kingdom." It may be 
proper to remark that the prohibition in regard to the Jews 
was removed in 1851, principally through the efforts of 
Henrik Wergeland. But what became of the sentence, " AH 
Christian religious sects shall be granted liberty of religious 
worship ? " Who w^as responsible for the change ? Where 
did the members of the convention have their ears -when the 
constitution as a whole was adopted ? These questions have 
been and are just as much of a conundrum in Norway as 
what the Silverites call "the crime of 1873 " and " Section 22 
of the Dingley bill" are in this country. In the absence of 
any constitutional provision in regard to the free exercise of 
religion outside of the state church, recourse was had to 
older laws on the subject, which greatly perplexed the gov- 
ernment and became a hardship to the few Friends who 
resided in Norway. The Quakers, as is well known, not 


only reject the sacraments and confirmation, oppose religious 
ceremonies at weddings and funerals, and object to pay taxes 
to the state church; but they also refdse to take judicial 
oaths, to perform military duties, and to contribute to the 
maintenance of military establishments. It is evident that 
even if the constitution of Norway had granted full religious 
freedom to every individual upon the face of the earth, yet 
the Friends w^ould have come in conflict with the funda- 
mental laws of the kingdom, which prescribe that every 
citizen, without regard to birth or fortune, shall perform mili- 
tary service in defense of his country. But it is natural that 
the clash should first occur in regard to the mode of wor- 
ship, rather than with reference to the oath and martial 
duties. To many people religion is an earnest reality and an 
every-day concern ; while judicial oaths and wars are gener- 
ally considered to be more of necessary evils than indispen- 
sable articles. It cannot be disputed that the Quakers 
suffered considerably, especially during the years of 1830 to 
1845, on account of their refusal to comply with the ecclesi- 
astical and civil laws of the kingdom. They were compelled 
to have their children baptized and confirmed, as well as to 
observe all the outward requirements of church and state, 
including the payment of taxes. They were forbidden to 
propagate the doctrines of their sect, ordered to abstain 
from all proselyting, and prohibited from allowing any con- 
verts to join their society. On the failure to observe these 
conditions they were fined, and even the dead who were not 
buried in consecrated places were exhumed, and interred in 
accordance with the legal prescriptions. On the other hand, 
the Friends were often treated with leniency ; exempted from 


paying the fines imposed upon them; and their marriages, 
entered into contrary to la-w, permitted to remain in full 
force. Their life and property received the same protection 
as that of any other subject, notwithstanding that they 
objected to pay the same taxes as other people. Perhaps 
no country has been so little cursed with religious bigotry 
and persecution as the Scandinavian peninsula. No institu- 
tion of inquisition was ever planted among them, no blood 
of heretics ever stained their soil. Nor does it appear that the 
Norwegian government intended to oppress the few defense- 
less Friends within its dominion ; for already in 1817 a com- 
mission was appointed to devise means by which they could 
be permitted to worship God in their own fashion. It took 
many years, however, before that result was obtained ; but 
what they suffered in the meantime seems to have been 
more in consequence of meanness, on the part of certain 
officials, than of any intended persecution on the part of the 
government (3). Even if some of the Friends emigrated on 
account of the lack of religious freedom in their native places, 
they appear to have been more than w^illing to return to the 
ills they knew of after having enjoyed the liberty of America 
for only a few years. For according to Sandfa,idig Beret- 
ning oza Ainerika.hy Ole Rynning, the emigrants who had 
settled at Kendall, N. Y., suffered greatly during the first four 
or five years for the very necessities of life, and desired to 
return to old Norway, but did not have the means to do so. 
By a large number of writers, notably Prof. R. B. Ander- 

(3) Most of the facts mentioned in the two paragraphs above have been deducted from 
" W. A. Wexels's Liv 6g 'Virken," by Kev. A. Man, pablished in Kristiania, 1867, and it 
is considered to be very reliable by Prof. Georg Sverdrap, who has made a special 
Btady of that interesting period of Norwegian history. 


son, religious persecution has been given as the main cause of 
the movement from Stavanger to America in 1825. Conse- 
quently it was deemed wise to discuss that part of the emi- 
gration problem somewhat extensively. But there is no 
authentic record to show that a single man, woman, or child 
of the fifty-two persons who emigrated in 1825, ever came in 
conflict with the laws of Norway on account of their religion. 
The only Quaker in the Stavanger district who suffered for 
his belief, prior to 1826, was Elias Tastad, and he did not 
emigrate. The main hardships of the Norwegian Friends 
befeU them from 1830 to 1845. At the latter date religious 
freedom w^as virtually established in the kingdom. 

Stephen Grellet and William Allen were very zealous 
•Quakers, and both became famous as philanthropists. The 
former was a French nobleman, who had been compelled in 
early life, during the French revolution, to seek refuge in the 
United States, where, shortly after his arrival in 1795, he 
joined the society of Friends. After having resided continu- 
ously in this country for a period of twelve years, he for over 
a quarter of a century wandered from one European coun- 
try to another, visiting palaces and dungeons, and urging 
everybody to practice "peace on earth and good will among 
men." He even preached to the Pope in Rome, who listened 
with respect to his exhortations. He kept a diary, which 
afterwards was published in book form. In 1818 he writes : 
" I had been under great apprehension as to how I could be 
of the least service in the great work of my dear Lord in 
Norway and Sweden, for neither dear Allen nor myself under- 
stand their language." And again: " Enoch Jacobson, a 
Norwegian, one of those I saw during my last visit to this 


nation, on board the prison-ship of war, and who there 
became convinced of the Friends' principles, having heard 
that I proposed to return from America to visit Norway, 
etc., has just arrived in London. He has come under the 
apprehension that he would find me here, and that it was his 
duty to come and render me any service in his power." This 
Enoch Jacobson together v^rith another man had tried, but 
failed, to organize a society of Friends in Kristiania. Grellet, 
Allen, and Jacobson sailed directly from London to Stav- 
anger, where they arrived in 1818. In their journals the 
two former speak highly of the morals of the people, and of 
the courtesy and intelligence of the officials ; but do not by a 
single word refer to any persecution of their co-religionists 
in Norway. The Lutheran clergymen received them with 
open arms, and attended some of their meetings. They both 
mention, as an illustration of the virtue of the people in the 
vicinity of Stavanger, that during a quarter of a century 
only one person had been sentenced to death, although 
the district contained 40,000 inhabitants ; that the prison 
was kept by an old woman, and she had only one man 
in it, who was a perfect model of a culprit. Grellet and 
his companions remained in Stavanger for about one 
week, visited families, assisted the half a dozen or more 
Quakers in securing a suitable hall to meet in, and helped 
them in perfecting the organization. It should be remem- 
bered that Lars Larson, the founder of the society of Friends 
in Stavanger in 1816, had served for some time in the family 
of William Allen. Considering the familiarity with which 
Grellet for a whole week associated with the people, it is 
almost impossible to conceive that they should not know 


that America was his adopted country, especially when, as 
before noted, Enoch Jacobson was w^ell aware of the fact 
that Grellet resided in the United States. According to 
George Richardson's Society of Friends in Norway, Lars 
Larson also, it seems, met in 1822 a young man from North 
America, who probably was a Norwegian by birth. It is 
hard to believe that the Quakers were so absorbed in think- 
ing about heavenly things as to neglect to inquire of visitors 
from beyond the Atlantic in regard to the location and con- 
ditions of the continent to which they departed a few years 
later. The Scandinavian common people are generally very 
inquisitive about such matters. In fact B. L. Wick — his ar- 
ticle appeared in The Friends, Philadelphia, 1894 — who in- 
vestigated the subject a few years ago in London, maintains 
that it was Grellet who first advised the peasants to emi- 
grate, partly on account of their poverty, and told them ' 
that America offered many advantages; for example, a 
better economical future, free exercise of religion, and relief 
from military duties. The reason they did not at once act 
upon his advice is easily explained. The cautious and some- 
w^hat slow Norwegian peasants needed time to think about 
the matter, and to arrange their small affairs. There were 
persons in the North w^ho really decided to emigrate a 
quarter of a century before the feat was actually accom- 
plished. Perhaps the Norwegian prisoners during their con- 
finement in London harbor, or some Norwegian sailors during 
their travels, had heard something about America, and circu- 
lated the rumor among their countrymen at home years before 
Grellet's visit. At any rate it must be admitted that if the 
Quakers at Stavanger selected, in 1821, Kleng Peerson and 

134 b history of the Scandinavians in the u. s. 

another man to go to America and investigate ^th a view- 
to establishing a colony of Friends in the New World, as 
some writers seem to believe, then it is absolutely certain that 
thepeople must have had some information about the Western 
continent, as it is purely nonsense to suppose that any 
rational beings would try to send men in search of a suit- 
able place in w^hich to locate a settlement, to a country 
never heard of 

But even though it is virtually certain that the Quakers 
in Norway knew something about America before Kleng 
Peerson emigrated in 1821, it does not necessarily follow- 
that they sent him and another man thither for the pur- 
pose of finding a suitable place to establish a Norwegian 
settlement. Kleng was not a highly respected character in the 
vicinity of his home, partly on account of his marriage -writh a 
•very old but rich woman, -whom he expected to support him, 
being too indolent to earn his own bread and butter. It was 
the same shiftless individual, who during the greater part of 
the remainder of his life wandered on foot through a large por- 
tion of the Western states, living upon charity, sleeping 
under the open arch of heaven, or cheating people for his 
lodging; and w-ho in 1843 was thoroughly whipped in Ne-w- 
York because he had defrauded some of his poor coun-try- 
men, whom he pretended to assist (4). His companion on 
the supposed trip of investigation had an exceedingly bad 
reputation (5). Both of these men probably pretended and 
were considered to be Quakers, or at least favoring the ten- 
ets of that sect. But if they had any religious conviction 

(4) J. E. Eeiersen's "VexTiser," p. XXVI. 

(5) "BiUed-Magazin," -Vol. I., p. 102. 


at all, it did not, perhaps, in any way affect their thoughts 
or actions, except "to imbue them with a strong belief in the 
devil." Even assuming that most of the Friends around 
Stavanger were not of a high intellectual order, yet they 
could hardly have been so stupid as to expect to be able to 
deduce honesty from the united action of two rascals — ^to use 
one of Carlyle's expressions. But there are also other reasons, 
besides probabilities, for believing that Kleng Peerson and 
his companion were not sent out by any one to examine the 
New World. It is positively asserted in Billed-Magazin 
(6) that both Kleng Peerson and his companion secretly 
deserted their families and went to Gothenburg, Sweden. 
It may be proper in this connection to remark that at the ripe 
age of sixty-five, Kleng also wedded, and again abandoned, a 
Swedish woman at the Bishop Hill colony in Illinois, where 
he remained a very short time as member of Eric Janson's 
religious communistic organization (7). 

In Gothenburg the two men heard about America, which 
country they undoubtedly also knew something about before, 
and proceeded thither on a merchant vessel. Kleng Peerson 
returned to Stavanger in 1824, after having remained in the 
state of New York for three years, and gave a glowing 
description of the New World, by which he gained a reputa- 
tion as an excellent story-teller, not to say as a perverter of 
the truth. But in spite of his shortcomings, he, no doubt, 
exercised some influence ia hastening the departure of some 
of the peasants. On the other hand, it is claimed that Kleng 
Peerson possessed many good traits, and evidently w^as a 

(6) Vol. I., p. 102. 

<7) Anderson's "First Chapter of Norwegian Immigration," p. 180. 


fairly faithful guide to several parties of Norwegians in 
search of suitable land where settlements could be estab- 
lished. Prof. Th. Bothne, in his Latberske Kirkearbeide 
blandt NordmsLtidene i Amerika, calls him a tramp, and 
it cannot be denied that he possessed many of the faults and 
virtues of a genuine tramp. But it should be remembered 
that this class of people often treat each other with an 
altruism that even a Tolstoi might admire, and possibly 
Kleng Peerson gratified the better part of his nature by 
enduring and enjoying his wanderings in order to serve his 
compatriots on this side of the Atlantic. He died in Texas 
in 1865, and it seems that the contradictions of his life fol- 
lowed him to the grave. The inscription on the small stone 
monument, which his countrymen in that state raised to his 
memory, reads as follows: "Cleng Peerson, the first Nor- 
wegian Emigrant to America. Came to America in 1821." 
Now it is a fact, as has already been stated in the first vol- 
ume, page 35, that Hans Hansen Bergen came to this 
country as early as 1633, and there are many reasons 
and some evidence for believing that other Norwegians also 
came at the very dawn of the immigration period. At least 
one Norwegian, Thomas Johnson, who had served under 
the famous Paul Jones in his naval victories, was in Amer- 
ica during the Revolutionary era, and sat among the gods 
in the gallery in the congressional hall, Philadelphia, 1781 
(8). In 1818 Soren Gustavus Norberg, a native of Kristian- 
sand,came to the United States and settled at Salem, Mass., 
where he took out his naturalization papers five years 
later, calling himself Andrew Peterson. He married an 

(8) Anderson's "First Chapter of Norwegian Immigration," p. 27. 


American woman, and one of his sons, an American Metho- 
dist clergyman, has produced copies of original documents 
in regard to his father. Undoubtedly other Norwegians, 
besides those mentioned, came to this country years before 
Kleng Peerson arrived, but enough has been said to prove 
that he was not "the first Norwegian immigrant to America," 
even in the nineteenth century. 

Most authorities agree that on July 4, 1825, Restaura- 
tion, a small sloop, loaded with emigrants, iron, and brandy, 
left the wharf of Stavanger, destined for America. As has 
been asserted on pages 107-11 in the second volume, the 
first shipload of Norwegian emigrants who came directly 
from their native land to the state of Wisconsin, embarked 
at Skien the 17th of May, 1839. It seems rather strange 
that the departure of these two noted emigration parties 
should have occurred on the two great national holidays of 
the United States and Norway. This coincidence might, 
accidentally or purposely, have happened; but probably the 
apparent agreement of dates is to be found in the human 
desire to try to harmonize their past actions, no matter 
how insignificant, with more important events. The Sloop 
party consisted of 52 persons, including women and children. 
The majority of them were probably Friends, although 
there were in 1821 only six men and five women in the 
whole vicinity of Stavanger, Skjold, and Tysvar (9)— 
where all the Sloop folks hailed from-r-who professed to 
believe in the doctrines of George Fox. But some of these 
did not emigrate in 1825, notably, Elias Tastad, the only 
person in that district of the kingdom of whom there is, up 

(9) Mau's "W. A. Wexels's Liv og Virken," p. 174. 


to 1826, any record of having come in conflict with the law 
of the land on account of his religion. According to Prof. 
R. B. Anderson, "Six heads of families converted their, 
scanty worldly possessions into money and purchased a 
sloop which had been built in the Hardanger ^ord, between 
Stavanger and Bergen, and w^hich they loaded with a 
cargo of iron. For this sloop and cargo they paid $1,800 
(Norwegian money). While six of the party owned some 
p-ock in the vessel the largest share was held by Lars 
Larson, -who was in all respects the leader of the enterprise." 
The forerunners of civilization, both in the eastern 
and the western states of this country, have generally 
been reckless men of questionable moral character. 
The brute courage and vices of our trappers and hunters 
have been more conspicuous than their virtue or 
humanity. This does not imply that they have not 
been useful and necessary elements; in fact, they have 
been indispensable to a higher development of mind and 
matter. They have been necessary vanguards of the 
miners, loggers, and farmers; these, in turn, have been 
followed by the merchants and professional men, who have 
supplied the former w^ith luxuries, and attended to their 
spiritual and intellectual needs. What has been said about 
the trappers and hunters is also true, at least in most cases, 
of the very first immigrants from every European country. 
The cruelty and bloodthirstiness of the first Spaniards is too 
well known to need repetition. The English Puritans came 
to this country in order to be allowed to w^orship God in 
their own fashion, and to deprive every one else of the same 
privilege. The majority of the passengers on the first vessel 


which carried Swedish colonists to Delaware in 1638 were 
transgressors of the law. During the whole emigration 
period it has, in general, been the courageous and discon- 
tented classes who have participated in the movement; for 
the simple reason that the contented always stayed at home, 
and the timid never dared to go. But before the movement 
had become somewhat regular, and the knowledge about 
America certain, the courage of the emigrants bordered upon 
recklessness, and their discontent was closely allied to 
anarchy. It was, with few exceptions, the extreme and 
radical element of all countries, those persons who had little 
to lose and everything to gain, who first cast the die in 
favor of the New World. There is no reason for believing, 
and still less for asserting, that the first Norwegian 
emigrants, the Sloop party, were either above or below the 
first emigrants from other countries at that time. One 
vmter on the subject says: "They were men of the poorest 
classes of the communities whence they came, but not 
paupers or criminals. They were squeezed out from the 
bottom of society, escaping, as it were, through cracks and 
crevices. The average quality, however, steadily improved 
from the first." Most of them were Quakers, and B. L. "Wick 
claims that there were three classes of persons who had 
accepted, or pretended to accept, the teachings of the Friends: 
First, those who honestly believed in the doctrines; 
secondly, those who did not care for Quakerism, but disagreed 
with the teachings of the state church; thirdly, those who 
were poor and hoped to be assisted, and were helped by the 
society of Friends. He adds: "There are perhaps many 
to-day in Norway who were not Friends, if it were not for 


the pecuniary assistance derived." To the second class 
should be added those who did not care for any religion, but 
joined any new movement out of curiosity or to gain 
notoriety; in other words, they were mere religious tramps. 
It is, of course, impossible to ascertain the proportionate 
number of these respective classes. But the second class, 
especially, must have been quite large, considering that in 
later years a great number of Quakers around Stavanger 
joined the Baptists and Methodists when the latter denomi- 
nations began their w^ork in Norway. In this country many 
of the Friends became Mormons and infidels, and some 
returned to the Lutheran fold. While there is no method by 
which it can be absolutely ascertained which of the three 
classes mentioned predominated on Restauration, yet the 
actions of those people during the voyage indicated, at least 
to a certain extent, their character. The Quakers have gen- 
erally prohibited their members from using liquors or 
tobacco, and they have in most cases practiced what they 
preach. Not so, however, with Sloop party Friends. For, 
they not only unlawfully sold liquor in the English harbor 
Lisett in passing through the British channel; but after hav- 
ing found a cask of wine floating in the ocean near the island 
of Madeira, on the coast of Africa, they all became so drunk 
that the vessel drifted into one of the harbors of the island 
without any visible sign of life on board, and without 
hoisted flag (10). The officials at the fort, supposing that 
some dreadful contagious disease had killed all the people on 
board, aimed their cannons at the sloop; but the party got a 
chance to sober up before entering the other world, one of the 

(10) "Billed-Magazin," vol. I., p. 71. 


passengers staggering up and hoisting the Norwegian flag. 
It is reasonable to assume that while in this intoxicated state 
they did not address each other in the usual Quaker 
language of thee and thou, nor answered all questions by 
j^ea or naj^, but had recourse to some more forcible Norwe- 
gian expressions. The stupidity and carelessness manifested 
on this occasion by the so-called captain and officials deserve 
the severest condemnation. Their negligence amounted to a 
crime, and if such a case had been tried before any maritime 
court in Christendom, the offenders w^ould undoubtedly have 
been sentenced to several years' imprisonment. The leader and 
principal owner of the sloop, Lars Larson, was the one who 
had fished up the cask (11), notwithstanding that he had 
been converted to Quakerism in England, and had been the 
first one in Stavanger to open up his house for Friendly 
meetings; but this time he, with the rest, seems to have 
drowned, or perhaps intensified, his religious enthusiasm 
with some excellent wine. 

It is generally maintained by all writers on the 
subject that before the party left the harbor of Pun- 
chal, into which they had drifted during their state of in- 
toxication, they were well supplied with provisions by the 
American consul at that place, who also bestowed other 
favors upon them. In Prof. R. B. Anderson's history, page 
72, it is claimed that J. H. March, who w^as appointed con- 
sul in 1816, was the man who showed the Norwegians such 
courtesies. But in a recent letter to the writer of this article 
from the department of state, Washington, D. C, it is 
asserted that the consul at Funchal was absent from 1824 

(11) Anderson's "First Chap, of Nor. Immigration," p. 68. 


to 1827, during wHch time the duties of tlie office were per- 
formed by his brother, Francis March. Some authorities, 
however, assert that the party were not at the island of 
Madeira at all, but in the harbor of Lisbon, Portugal (12). 
Fourteen -weeks after their departure from Stavanger they 
reached New York. Here they attracted considerable atten- 
tion, especially as the so-called captain was arrested for hav- 
ing a larger cargo .and more passengers than the law per- 
mitted such a small vessel to carry; but he was released. 
They were also duly referred to by the American newspapers. 
But they w^ere in such destitute circumstances that the New- 
York Quakers had to assist them financially before they 
could proceed any farther. Besides the Friends, some other 
persons, who came to the wharf out of mere curiosity, gave 
the impoverished Norwegians some money. The sloop and 
cargo had cost them nearly $2,000; they sold it all in Ne-w 
York for about a quarter of that amount. 

Most stories, real or fictitious, have a hero or a heroine; 
and a large number of writers have represented Kleng Peer- 
son to be the hero of the Sloop party. Although no 
mention has been made of the means by which he first 
found out that such a continent existed; yet from the 
general trend of the presentation it appears as if these 
authors wanted mankind to believe that Kleng Peerson in 
some mysterious way, perhaps by his "inner light," dis- 
covered some information about the Ne-w World, and then 
imparted part of his -wisdom to some Norwegian peas- 
ants, who at once dispatched him thither. After three years 
of thorough study of the new country, he, according to the 

(12) Wist's " Norske Indvandring," p. 15. 


general version, returned and conquered a portion of the 
kingdom of Norway with his tongue, and then again 
hurried across the Atlantic ocean to make final preparation 
for the arrival of the Sloop party. It is the unpleasant duty 
of the historian to cut through and destroy the delicate 
veils which have been woven around events and individuals, 
and present them to the world in their naked truthfulness, as 
far as it is possible to do so. The Improbability, and even 
impossibility, of Kleng Peerson having been the evangelist 
who first preached the new gospel about America to the Nor- 
w^egians, and the object of his first visit there, have already 
been discussed. But the meager and questionable evidences 
in regard to what part he played, after his return to Norway 
in 1824, in efiecting or hastening the organization of the 
Sloop party, are neither positive nor negative, being about 
so equally balanced as to prevent any certain conclusion. He 
came to Norway one year before the party sailed, and prob- 
ably returned to New York shortly after, without having 
any knowledge whatsoever of the preparations lor depar- 
ture going on in the vicinity of Stavanger. When the Sloop 
folks arrived in New York in the fall of 1825, they appear to 
have met him there by accident, rather than by previous 
arrangement. If he had been the real instigator of the 
movement and the chief organizer of the party, it seems he 
would have accompanied the emigrants across the 
ocean. They needed him. Prof. R. B. Anderson says: "In- 
stead of risking his life in the sloop he had again gone by the 
way of Gothenburg, Sweden, and was already in New York 
ready to receive his friends and to give them such assistance 
as he was able," But whatever might have been the motive 


of Kleng in proceeding before the other emigrants, cowardice 
or prudence could hardly have been the cause. His whole 
life is a protest against the assumption. The same author 
cites a New York newspaper notice of 1825, which appears 
to justify the theory that Kleng was sent in advance. But 
for historical accuracy newspapers are, in general, not very 
reliable, and this seems to be the case at the beginning of the 
nineteenth century as much as at the beginning of the twen- 
tieth century, because all the newspaper citations which said 
writer quotes in regard to the Sloop party are contraditory 
in detail. On the other hand, some of the ablest Norwegian- 
American scholars who have studied the subject, question 
the justice of the honor accorded to Kleng Peerson, 
refusing to ascribe to the Sloop party any special credit for 
having promoted the subsequent Norwegian emigration. 
For example, J. B. Wist not only doubts the particulars, as 
generally stated, about Restauration, but boldly asserts that 
the passengers on the same had little or no influence, either 
directly or indirectly, on the Norwegian immigration, or in 
any way directed its course. Nicolay Grevstad says : " What 
^ave the first impetus to emigration from Norway may be 
put under the category of historical accidents. It was also 
an accident that the first emigrants w^ere dissatisfied w^ith 
the religious conditions under which they had been Hving. 
At that time rumors about America began to spread among 
the people along the coast of Norway. And if Kleng Peer- 
son had not emigrated, others would have done so, either at 
that time or a little later on. Popular migrations always 
have an economical root. The emigration from Norway, as 
well as from other European countries, is a result of the 


strained economical conditions prevailing in the Old World, 
and the hope of doing better in the New World. All other 
conditions are only tributary circumstances of compara- 
tively subordinate importance." 

From New York harbor the majority of the Norwegians 
proceeded, late in the fall of 1825, to Kendall, then called 
Murray, in Orleans county, N.Y., where, it is asserted, most 
of them bought land. Prof. Anderson says : " Kendall is in 
the northeast comer of Orleans county on the shores of 
Lake Ontario. Here land was sold to the TSIorwegians by 
Joseph Fellows at five dollars an acre ; but as they had no 
money to pay for it, Mr. Fellows agreed to let them redeem 
it in ten annual installments. The land was heavily wooded, 
and each head of a family and adult person purchased forty 
acres." In order to be absolutely certain in regard to this 
transaction, the writer of this article sent a list of names, 
which included most of the adult males of the Sloop party, 
to the district attorney of Orleans county, Thomas A. 
Kirby, and requested him to make a careful investigation of 
the county records in relation to the supposed real estate 
deal between Joseph Fellows and the first Norwegian immi- 
grants. He answered as follows : "From my examination 
of the records of the Orleans county clerk's office I do not 
find that Joseph Fellows ever deeded any property about 
the year 1825, situated in the town of Kendall, or Murray, to 
any of the individuals named in your communication to me 
of October 15th, 1898. Later on, in 1835, a Joseph Fellows, 
of Geneva, deeded property to different individuals, but not 
any of them corresponded with any of the names that you 
have given me. The records do not disclose, as far as I can 


ascertain, that Kleng Peerson bought any land or had any- 
thing to do with the transaction ; but our early records, of 
course, are not absolutely accurate." It is useless to theo- 
rize about the failure of the Norwegian settlers at Kendall to 
secure proper titles to their farms, or to discuss their trials 
and triumphs at that place, as nearly everything in regard to 
them is clouded in obscurity. Joseph Fellows, who was a 
Quaker, appears to have been very generous to them, and it 
would be unfair to assume that he tried to defraud them out 
of their property. Consequently, they themselves must have 
been unable to comply with the stipulations about the bar- 
gain, and probably he, on that account, sold the land to other 
parties in 1835, and at about that time several of the 
original settlers sought new homes in some of the Western 
states, especially in La Salle county. 111. With probably one 
or two exceptions, not a single descendant of the Sloop folks 
now reside at Kendall. There are some Norwegians today, 
but they are later arrivals. 

In conclusion it must be said that the real historical facts 
about the Sloop party are few and contradictory. Taken all 
in all, the sum and substance of the whole affair seems to be 
this : The Stavanger Quakers had through Grellet, as well 
as by other means, learned about America and discussed the 
desirabiUty of emigrating some time before Kleng Peerson's 
first departure or return; but, being poor and slowto decide, 
the execution of their wishes had of necessity to be delayed. 
Parts of the story, at least, have apparently been invented 
by the participants for the sake of gaining notoriety. Judg- 
ing from the course vrhich they pursued, it would be more 
reasonable to believe that the Cape of Good Hope was their 


intended destination, instead of New York. Considering 
their unlawful trade in England ; their idiotic conduct at the 
island of Madeira; and their extreme poverty, it is useless to 
argue about, or specify, the cause or causes which led to the 
departure. The Sloop party desired to get out of Norway in 
order to improve, in some way, their material condition, and 
to taste the sweet experience of adventure — exactly the 
same motives which underlie the whole Viking and emigra- 
tion periods. Religious persecution may have been the pre- 
text, but in reality was not the cause. The temperament of 
most of the people on the Restauration was such that they 
would have tried to emigrate, even if the w^hole universe had 
been blessed with the utmost religious freedom. The pro- 
geny of the Sloop people seem to have been as completely 
lost in the ocean of cosmopolitanism as the doings of their 
forefathers are obscured by uncertainties. Even the com- 
monly strong cohesive power of religion has been unable to 
hold any number of them together either in regard to faith 
or habitation. Considered as a unit, the immigrants of 1825 
have practically exercised no influence ; as individuals they 
and their offspring have, no doubt, been peaceful citizens and 
desirable subjects ; but, apparently, hardly any of them have 
possessed those marked characteristics of push and energy 
so common to the Norwegians in the nineteenth centtrcy. 
Many Norwegian-Americans have made a wide reputation 
for themselves in a few years. But with the possible excep- 
tion of Col. Porter C. Olson, a brave Illinois soldier during 
the Civil war, not a single descendant of the Sloop party 
appears to have distinguished himself in any line during the 
seventy-five years that have passed since the Restauration 


sailed from Stavanger to America with the first party of 
Norwegian immigrants. 

Swedish Colony at BishopsMU, Illinois. 

— BY- 

[Published in Scandinavia in iSS5.] 

In a spirit of patriotic exultation one of the poets of 
Sweden proclaims his native land the " Homestead of free- 
dom on earth." In a political sense this boasting expression 
may be justified. From the earliest dawn of fable-mixed 
history, when Sigge Fridulfson first founded the embryo 
Swedish commonwealth, up to the present time, the king- 
dom of Sweden proper has never been conquered by a foreign 
foe. Provinces beyond the sea were won and lost, but the 
sea and mountain-girt eastern part of the Scandinavian 
peninsula, the ancient Swea and Gotha-land was, from time 
immemorial, inhabited and possessed by a people governed 
by laws of their own making and by constitutional kings 
either of their own choosing or inheriting the throne by con- 
stitutional succession. The practice of entailing estates — 
that pernicious inheritance from the feudal middle-age — 
which at onetime prevailed to a rather alarming extent, was 
checked in its growth by the "reduction" of Charles XI., and 
was finally abolished by legislation in the beginning of this 



century. As a consequence, the bulk of the land always re- 
mained in the hands of a class of independent yeomen, the 
owners in fee simple of small freeholds, subject only to taxes 
to the crown and to the municipality, and the owners them- 
selves entitled to representation in the national legislature. 

But in this so much praised and cherished freedom of the 
Swedish people, there was one essential element wanting. 
Religious liberty did not exist. According to the law of the 
land every native Swede must belong to the established Lu- 
theran church, whether or not his religious convictions 
agreed with the doctrines of that denomination. The pen- 
alty for apostacy was exile. It may seem surprising, almost 
incredible, that such a law — until within the last twenty 
years, when it was abolished, or, at least greatly modified — 
could prevail among such an enlightened and progressive 
people, but such was nevertheless the fact, and to explain 
how such a law could remain in force so long is both diificult 
and would require a more extended review of the history of 
the reformation in Sweden than space here will permit. It 
may, however, not be out of place to say a few words on the 

Gustavus Vasa, the father of modern Sweden, also be- 
came its religious regenerator. Under his auspices, at the 
Diet in Westeras, in the year 1527, the Swedes severed their 
connection with the Church of Rome, and adopted the prin- 
ciples of Martin Luther. This was eifected quite peaceably, 
'the only opponent being the primate of Sweden, Gustavus 
TroUe, archbishop of Upsala, who made war on the king, 
but was speedily put down, captured and sent out of the 
country. With this exception the whole clergy, more or less 


■willingly, it may be supposed, consented to the change. Ro- 
manism was done away with, but the church organization 
was retained. The bishops and clergy, now suddenly trans- 
formed into good Lutherans, were in most instances permit- 
ted to remain in charge of their offices ; a new archbishop, a 
disciple of Luther, was appointed, and thus the church of 
Sweden became the oldest Protestant Episcopal church in the 
world, with its clerus comitialis, successio apostolica, and 
every other concomitant for a complete organization . 

During the reign of Gustavus Vasa and that of his old- 
est son and nearest successor, Ericus XIV., the work of 
strengthening the reformation went on peaceably. Monas- 
taries and nunneries were abolished and their rich estates 
turned over to the crown ; the Bible was translated into the 
Swedish language, and every measure adopted to put the 
new-born Protestantism on a firm basis. But King Ericus, 
being taken prisoner dethroned and finally murdered by a 
conspiracy headed by his own brother, John, the latter 
ascended the throne. His spouse. Queen Catherine, a Polish 
princess, was a devoted Roman Catholic, and by hei: influ- 
ence the king became a secret convert. Their son and heir, 
Sigismund, was educated in the Roman church, and strenu- 
ous efforts made to re-establish Romanism in the kingdom. 
In the meantime Prince Sigismund, on account of his 
mother's family connections, had been elected king of Poland, 
and at the death of his father returned to Sweden at the 
head of a Polish army with the avowed purpose to crush 
Protestantism and once more put the Swedes under the rule 
of the papacy. The designs, however, were frustrated. The 
Protestants gathered under his uncle, Duke Charles, the 


youngest and most able son of Gustavus Vasa, and after 
several bloody encounters Sigismund had to return to Po- 
land, having been unable to effect his purpose, was debarred 
from the Swedish succession and lived and died as king of 
Poland. Duke Charles, a staunch and devoted Lutheran, 
was now elected king, and the Lutheran Protestant church 
with an episcopal organization, became the established 
church of the kingdom. But against the secret machina- 
tions of the court during the long reign of John III. and the 
open attempts of Sigismund to re-establish the dominion of 
the papal power, the young Protestant church doubtless had 
a hard struggle to maintain itself, and since it issued from 
the ordeal victorious, it is reasonable to suppose that strin- 
gent measures were taken forever to prevent a recurrence, 
and to this source, in our opinion, must be traced the laws 
against religious freedom in Sweden, which until quite re- 
cently, have remained in force and both at home and abroad 
have attracted so much criticism ; mostly, however, abroad, 
for the Swedish people were, and we think, are yet, most de- 
voted Lutherans. Any apostasy from the established 
church finds little favor or sympathy among the Swedish 
community at large, and there is not in the whole Roman 
calendar a saint, whose memory is held in higher veneration 
among the faithful than is among the Swedish Lutherans 
that of the Great Reformer. But while these laws were 
still in force, they were in reality a dead letter and almost 
unknown, because there was no occasion for their atJplica- 
tion ; and we cannot remember many instances w^here the 
penalty of exile has been inflicted. Public worship among 
the Swedes in any other form than according to the estab- 


lished church, or conducted by other persons than the regu- 
lar clergy, was forbidden, and if attempted, would doubtless 
be prohibited. 

While such a state of things existed, there lived, some 
forty years ago, in one of the Middle Provinces of Sweden, a 
man by the name of Eric Janson. He was born December 19, 
1808, the son of a small farmer. On account of the poverty 
of his parents he w^as prevented from attendance in the pub- 
lic schools, and consequently his book learning was of the 
most limited kind, being principally acquired by the aid of 
the minister of the parish w^hile preparing for his first com- 
munion. The tendency of his mind was religious. He main- 
tained that already at an early age he had experienced a 
deep repentance of sin and become a convert, feeling at the 
same time the greatest desire to gain knowledge in matters 
spiritual. For this purpose he read with avidity all books on 
such topics within his reach, but he soon threw them all 
away as unsatisfactory, and thenceforward the Bible became 
his only study for guidance and consolation. 

Eric Janson remained with his father until he was twen- 
ty-seven years old, when he married and first rented but 
afterward purchased a small farm. He was distinguished 
for honesty, sobriety, and the most untiring industry, and in 
the whole neighborhood he was recognized as the hardest 
worker in the field. During this ceaseless toil his interest in 
religious matters, far from diminishing, was constantly in- 
creasing. He felt an unconquerable desire, a glowing enthu- 
siasm, which exhorted him to make known his thoughts out- 
side the immediate circle of his home. With this end in view, 
in the spring of 1842, he made an excursion to the adjoining 


province of Helsingland, where he put himself in communica- 
tion with some piously disposed people and held a number of 
religious meetings. This visit he repeated and in the course 
of two years he returned time and again to the field of his 
missionary work without any molestation. Those who 
heard him, among whom often were found several of the 
more progressive of the regular clergy, assert without hesi- 
tation that Janson was a most forcible preacher, that his re- 
ligious tenets in no essential respect were different from the 
fundamental principles common to all Evangelical churches, 
and that his style of delivery and mode of teaching and ex- 
hortation nearest resembled those of the Methodists. The 
movement swept over the Province with the strength of a 
tornado. People by thousands flocked to hear the new- 
preacher; the churches stood empty; families became sun- 
dered, some adhering to the old church, others following the 
new, and finally the Jansonites, as they were called, disdain- 
ing any other book but the Bible, publicly burned all other 
books of religious content, including the Common Prayer- 
book of the Church of Sweden. This brought matters to a 
crisis. The authorities, fearing serious disturbances, had 
Eric Janson arrested in the spring of 1844, After a short 
imprisonment and a hearing before the governor of his Prov- 
ince, he was discharged with instructions to again appear 
whenever wanted. During the following two years he made 
repeated attempts to continue his religious work among the 
people, but was each time arrested and suffered imprison- 
ment on three or four occasions. Finally, disheartened and 
despairing of success in his native land, Eric Janson, with a 
few faithful followers, escaped over the mountains into Nor- 


way, in January, 1846, from whence he repaired to Copen- 
hagen, where he embarked on a vessel which landed him in 
New York in the spring of the same year. In the month of 
July following he finally arrived in the hamlet of Victoria, 
Knox county, Illinois. 

Prompted by these repeated annoyances and persecutions, 
Eric Janson and his followers resolved to forsake their native 
jand and find new homes in America, for it was not Eric 
alone who suffered. Several of his adherents had been sub- 
ject to fine and imprisonment for the most trifling offenses 
against the old and obsolete "Conventicle-law." Eric, pre- 
vious to leaving the country, had made all necessary prep- 
arations, and appointed four trusty friends as leaders of the 
movement. But it is safe to say, that in his colonization 
plan, did not enter any of those communistic and socialistic 
principles, which afterwards found a practical application in 
the colony. These were the fruits of necessity. In preparing 
to leave, those of the Jansonites possessed of any property, 
converted this into ready cash, retaining only necessary 
clothing and bedding. But now it was found that one thou- 
sand one hundred persons wished to join the intended col- 
ony, and of these only a smaller number were able to defray 
the necessary expenses. The aggregate of their means was 
now made a common fund and put in the hands of trustees, 
with the object of assisting the needy to follow their breth- 
ren. Every one contributed his all, some as much as from 
two thousand to six thousand dollars. Some of the emi- 
grants had debts, and these were paid from the common 
treasury. Some were soldiers, and their release from the 
army was purchased with means from the same source. 


In our days of perfect communication by rail and 
steamer, -when a trip from Sweden to America can be easily 
and comfortably made in about two weeks, it is hard to 
imagine the hardships of such a voyage forty years ago. 
Emigration was then unknown and no vessels found fitted 
for that purpose. The only Swedish ships trading on 
America carried cargoes of iron and were often old hulks of 
inferior quality. In several such vessels, temporarily fitted 
up to receive emigrants, the first parties of Jansonites left 
their native land in the spring and summer of 1846. One of 
these vessels, with fifty passengers, was never heard of; 
another was wrecked on Newfoundland, but the people saved ; 
a third was five months on the way, during which time the 
unhappy emigrants suffered greatly from both sickness and 

But one after another these several parties joined their 
leader in Victoria, Illinois, so that by the end of the year 
1846 their number amounted to about four hundred. 

In the meantime, Eric Janson, anticipating the arrival of 
his friends, had purchased several pieces of land in the neigh- 
borhood, some of which had improvements ; but as town- 
site for the new settlement was selected the southeast quar- 
ter of section 14, in Weller township, Henry county, which 
was bought of the government for two hundred dollars, and 
the intended town was named Bishopshill, which is a literal 
translation of Eric Janson's native place (Biskopskulla) in 

The first care now was to prepare shelter for all this peo- 
ple. For this purpose were built several large log houses and 
two tents of large dimensions, besides which a turf house 


served as a kitchen and dining-room; but these accommoda- 
tions proving inadequate, resort was had to what in the 
vsrest is popularly called "dug-outs," which are merelycellars 
w^ith a roof over, and a door and window in front, the most 
suitable place for such a resort being a sloping hillside. Of 
these twelve were built, generally twenty -five to thirty feet in 
length, eighteen in width, furnished with bunks on the sides, 
a fire-place in the rear, and rooming twenty-five to thirty 

It may easily be understood that among a people with 
whom religion w^as paramount, the first thought was to pre- 
pare a place of worship, if ever so primitive. With this end 
in view they first dug a ditch two feet deep, and in this, on a 
foundation of timber, a middle wall of logs was built, from 
which a roof of canvas was stretched to both sides. On the 
north side was the pulpit and entrance ; on the south the fire- 
place ; the whole seating eight hundred to one thousand peo- 
ple. In this tabernacle, during the fall and winter, service 
■was held twice a day on week days, and three times on Sun- 
days. Eric Janson himself rose at five o'clock in the morn- 
ing and roused the people to morning prayer, which often 
lasted two hours. The second service was in the evening. 
During the summer these meetings were discontinued and 
supplemented by an open-air midday meeting in the grove. 

Nor was school instruction neglected. At such times, 
when the weather did not permit outdoor work, instruction 
by competent teachers, was given to the full-grown people, 
of whom many were ignorant in reading and writing, the 
above church-tent being used as a school-room, while for the 
children school was kept in one of the dug-outs. Besides 


these there was also another institution of learning of far 
greater pretentions. The Jansonites, being convinced that 
the depository of all the saving truths of the Christian re- 
ligion was found within their little community, considered it 
their duty to let their light shine before men by missionaries 
sent out from the colony. For this purpose twelve of their 
brightest young men were selected to devote themselves to 
the ministry and put in system the Jansonian theology, but 
first and foremost to learn the English language, their 
studies being led by the more advanced members of the 

One of the earliest difficulties the colonists had to con- 
tend with was to provide flour for bread, the nearest grist- 
mill being twenty-eight miles distant, and this, as well as 
some others, still farther out of the way, often out of order. 
To obviate this trouble a watermill with a large wheel was 
built at the creek running through Bishopshill. Unfortu- 
nately, however, the w^ater supply in the creek was often 
so small that it could not furnish the mill with necessary 
power. This new trouble was overcome in a manner both 
ingenious, simple, and practical ; the health of the young 
theologians, the elders thought, might suffer by the effects of 
a too sedentary life, and to obviate this they were, at inter- 
vals between their studies, invited to step inside the wheel of 
the mill, and put this in motion by tramping at such occa- 
sions when the water supply was short in the creek. Some- 
what later a windmill was put up in the other end of the 
village, and between the wind power on one side and the 
tramping theological candidates on the other, the needs of the 
people for bread were pretty well filled. Some years after- 


wards, however, a line steam mill was built which supplied 
not only the colony, but the whole surrounding country with 

Several additional pieces of land were now purchased for 
the colony, and on two of these were found timber as well as 
sawmills, so that hereafter the colony had ample supply of 
lumber. Nor was the farming interest neglected. Three 
hundred and fifty acres of prairie land was broken the first 
year, of which part was sowed with flax, and the remainder 
with wheat. In the native province of a majority of these 
people the cultivation of flax and the manufacture of linen is 
one of the leading industries, and soon became of the same 
importance to the colonists in their new home. 

In the summer of 1847 the colony received an addition 
of four hundred adult emigrants, besides children. To pro- 
vide shelter for these became of prime necessity, and several 
more dug-outs were built. But the consequences of living in 
the unhealthy, ill-ventilated dwellings, showed themselves 
soon. Sickness set in, mostly chills and fevers, and many 
fell victims to these diseases. But better buildings were, after 
some time, provided — first small frame tenements and houses 
of sun-dried brick, and later, large and substantial brick 
houses. In the summer of 1849 a party of Norwegians, on 
their way to join the colony, was attacked by cholera be- 
tween Chicago and Bishopshill, and brought with them the 
disease, to which one hundred and forty-three fell victims, 
among them Eric Janson's wife and children. The following 
year another party of Jansonites, numbei-ing one hundred 
and fifty, was assailed by the same fell destroyer, on a 
steamer between Buffalo and Milwaukee, and hardly one- 


half of the number reached their destination. But while the 
number of colonists was thus increased by accessions from 
the old country, their ranks were constantly diminished by 
the influence of Jonas Hedstrom, a Swede, and zealous Meth- 
odist missionary, who persuaded between two and thi'ce 
hundred of the Jansonites to leave the colony and join his 

We have above alluded to the cultivation of flax and 
the manufacture of linen by the colonists. The weaving was 
the exclusive work of the women, who devoted themselves 
to the work with the most untiring energy, as evidenced by 
the fact that during a period of ten years, from 1847 to 
1857, 130,309 yards of linen and 22,569 mats, besides what 
was used for home consumption, were disposed of at highly 
remunerative prices, the manufacture finding a ready sale in 
the surrounding country. After the last named period the 
manufacture was discontinued, except for their own use, on 
account of competition from the eastern states. 

Another and still more important industry was the 
cultivation and adaption for sale of broom-corn, which has 
proved one of the greatest sources of income for the people 
of Bishopshill. 

Even to this peaceful and religious community did the 
California gold fever penetrate. Their old fundamental prin- 
ciple, "Godliness with a content mind is winning enough," 
had given way for a desire to make money, and in the spring 
of 1850 an expedition consistingof nine men, with necessary 
outfit, was sent to dig gold in California. After many hard- 
ships the party reached the gold-land, but all, except one 
who died and another who remained on the Pacific coast. 


returned the year following, the trip merely paying expenses. 

In the fall of 1848 there arrived at Bishopshill a man 
who called himself Root, although many suspected that this 
was an assumed name. He was a man of education and 
good address, but a base adventurer and desperado withal. 
Having gained the good will of the community, he applied to 
be received as a member of the society, which was granted. 
Later on he married a young woman of the colony, a cousin 
of Eric Janson, the express ante-nuptial agreement being, 
that if Root ever wanted to discontinue his connection with 
the society, he should also part with his wife and the latter 
be allowed to remain at Bishopshill. Dissatisfaction with the 
new member soon was apparent. In this industrious hive 
he was a drone, and spent his time either in hunting or 
absenting himself from the colonj^ at short intervals. On his 
return from one of these trips he found that his wife had pre- 
sented him with a son. He w^ished now to take her away 
from Bishopshill, which was resisted. Thwarted in an 
attempt of forcible abduction, and after twice without suc- 
cess attacking the colony at the head of a mob, he finally 
sued Eric Janson for the possession of his wife. One day, 
while the litigation was going on, at the May term, 1 850, of 
the court in Cambridge, while all had left the court-room for 
dinner except Eric Janson, Root entered, and calling Janson 
by name, shot him dead. The murderer was arrested, and he 
was sentenced to three years in the penitentiary. Having 
served out his term he went to Chicago, where he soon after 
died in great misery. 

The gloom which the death of Eric Janson had thrown 
over the colony did not slacken its industry. The material 


■progress hastened forwai'd with large 'Strides. The "anriuAl 
earnings -were considerable. Large tracts of land were pur- 
chasied, but the colony hot being incorporated, ^ch lands 
inust be bought in the name of some member, which, in case 
of death of the nominal purchaser, often caused great trouble 
at the probate court. In the meantime everything re- 
mained without any legal organization. The same men who 
had been nominated as leaders by Eric Janson upon leaving 
Sweden, still had charge of all the affairs of the colony, and 
administered the same according to their own sweet will. It 
had, how^ever, always been considered only a temporary ar- 
rangement, which in time must be supplanted by sorhething 

In the year 1853 the colony was incorporated under a 
charter of the legislature of Illinois. By its provisions the 
management of all the temporal affairs of the colony was 
vested in seven trustees, who w^ere to retain their offices for 
life, or on good behavior. It seems the community, w^hose 
interests were at stake, was never consulted or even given an 
opportunity to express a wish in regard to the choice of 
these trustees. As a matter of course the same persons who 
had in their keeping all the resources of the colony ever since 
they left Sweden, had their names put in the charter to fill 
these responsible positions. They were: Jonas Olson, Olof 
Johnson, Jonas Erickson, Jacob Jacobson, Swan Swanson, 
Peter Johnson, and Jonas Kronberg. Of these five were 
from the parish of Soderala, and related ; and the rest of the 
parishes from Sweden were represented by the other two trus- 
tees. Nobody at the time seemed to understand the danger 
6f this charter. At least nobody protested. The men had 


hitherto enjoyed unlimited confidence, why not hereafter? 
Besides, the spiritual interests were paramount in the hearts 
and minds of the colonists. Temporal matters were of sub- 
ordinate importance to the religious idea which was the 
foundation of the colony, and kept its members together. 

We had occasion this year to visit the colony, and were 
received with the greatest kindness and hospitality. Every- 
thing, seemingly, was on the top of prosperity. The people 
lived in large, substantial brick houses. "We had never before 
seen so large a farm, nor one so well cultivated. One of the 
trustees took us to an adjacent hill, from which we had in 
view the colony's cultivated fields, stretching away for miles. 
In one place we noticed fifty young men with the same num- 
ber of horses and plows cultivating a cornfield, where every 
furrow was two miles in length. They moved with the regu- 
larity of soldiers. In another part was a field of a thousand 
acres in broom com, the product of which, when baled, was 
to be delivered to Boston parties at Peoria, and was sup- 
posed to yield an income of fifty thousand dollars. All their 
live stock was exceptionally fine, and apparently given the 
best care. There w^as a stable of more than one hundred 
horses, the equals of which would be hard to find. One 
evening I was brought to an inclosure on the prairie, where 
the cows were milked. There must have been at least two 
hundred of them, and the milkmaids numbered forty or fifty. 
There was a large w^agon, in which an immense tub was sus- 
pended on four posts, and in this each girl, ascending to the 
top by a stepladder, emptied her pail. The whole process 
was over in half an hour. On Sunday I attended service. 
There was singing and prayer, and the sermon, by one of the 


leaders, contamed nothing that a member of any Christian 
denomination might not hear in his own church. Altogether, 
I retain the most agreeable remembrance of this visit. 

It would be pleasant to stop here, for the rest of this lit- 
tle sketch is a mournful tale, and I shall pass through it as 
quickly as possible. 

The first account of the affairs of the colony was given 
by the trustees in the year 1855. According to the same the 
real and personal property amounted to about $500,000, 
and the debts to $18,000. Now the trustees, havingunder 
their absolute control all the resources of the colony, gave 
themselves up to speculation. They made the new town of 
Galva, a station on the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy 
Railroad, near BishopshiH, the principal place of their oper- 
ations. Here they built a large warehouse and also opened 
a store of general merchandise. They dealt in grain and 
lumber, speculated in railroad and bank stock, and carried 
on a large pork-packing house. On all these different under- 
takings, it is asserted, they lost heavily ; on the pork-pack- 
ing alone about $60,000. Thus the resources accumulated 
by the hard labor of the colonists "were squandered in a short 

The next report of the trustees, delivered in 1860, 
showed assets to the amount of $846,277, from which must 
be deducted debts of $75,645, leaving a balance of $770,- 
632 This statement was not satisfactory to the colonists, 
and the accounts being given in the hands of a special Mas- 
ter in Chancery, he discovered a further liability of $42,- 
759.33, which the trustees tried to conceal. This discovery, 
of course, made the colonists lose confidence in their trustees. 


Added to this came religious dissensions. A party of Shak- 
ers from Pleasant Hill, Kentucky, had gained entrance in the 
colony and found not a few adherents to their peculiar doc- 
trines. Marital relations were interfered with, the young 
people were forbidden to enter matrimonj^ families were sun- 
dered, the whole colony was broken up in warring factions, 
and of the strong religious feeling that kept them together 
in the days of Eric Janson, hardly a vestige was left. Disso- 
lution was inevitable and was at hand. It took place on 
February 14, 1860, and was still further perfected in 1861. 
Property to the value of $592,793 was divided among 415 
shareholders. The remainder of the property, according to 
the statement of 1860, amounting to $248,861, was put in 
the hands of the old trustees to pay the accrued debt of 
$118,403.33, and five years time given them to effect the 
liquidation ; but it being soon apparent that the sum thus 
put aside for paying the debt was not sufficient, on account 
of a number of worthless items, a further amount of $52,- 
762 was delivered to the trustees by the colonists. At the 
expiration of five years the trustees informed the people that 
$100,000 were still needed to pay the debt, and actually col- 
lected in cash $56,163.71. Time rolled on. The trustees 
never gave any statement about payment of the debt, but 
instead of this, in the beginning of the year 1868, came no- 
tice that a still larger amount was required to settle the 
obligations of the colony. This brought matters to a crisis. 
Forbearance ceased to be a virtue. The unfortunate colon- 
ists appointed a committee to wait upon the trustees and 
demand an account, and the latter flatly refused anything of 
the kind, litigation commenced, which lasted five years, 


when a verdict was given by which the colonists were made 
to pay $57,782.90, of which amount $46,290 were expenses 
for the suit and lawyers' fees. Besides this the colonists dur 
ing the litigation assumed responsibility for the whole of the 
old colony debt with interest amounting to $158,000 minus 
the amounts paid in between the years 1860-1868. Thus, to 
pay a debt in 1860 of $118,403.33, these ill-fated people 
have actually expended in cash $413,124.61, and in prop- 
erty $259,786, or in the aggregate $672,910.61. This seems 
absurd and increditable, but the above are all official 

Finally, it may be remarked that the majority of those 
now dwelling in this at the outset so ultra-religious colony, 
do not belong to any church organization. That they are 
utterly indifferent to theological dogmasis hardly to be won- 
dered at when we remember the chaos in this respect prevail- 
ing and the number of schools they have passed through 
without finding anything tenable. But from this we must 
not conclude that the moral standard is low. It may, on 
the contrary, truly be said that the general morality is no- 
where better, and that the population in and around Bish- 
opshill is distinguished for honesty, strict sobriety, peaceful- 
ness, and enduring industry. 

This article, published in "Scandinavia" in 1885, was carefnlly revised, especially 
in regard to facts, by Skordalsvold and myself in 1899, We foand it was largely based 
npon, often being a literal translation of, a chapter of "Svenskarne i Illinois," by John- 
son and Peterson. The same is true of M A. Mikkelsen's history, issned in 1892. In the 
latter work it is asserted that the majority of the Jansonists became Methodists ; that 
the shors, mills, and factories in the town are empty ; that everything presents the 
appearance of a deserted village, with only abont 330 inhabitants. The third volume 
will contain a biography of Eric Janson, and additional information on the colony. — 

The Fifteenth Wisconsin, or Scandinavian, 


[Published in Scandinavia in 1884.] 

Already from the very outbreak of our late civil war, a 
great many Scandinavians in the northw^estern states enter- 
tained the idea of forming a volunteer regiment, and, as 
soon as the public appeal had been issued by the Governor 
of Wisconsin, Honorable Alexander W. Randall, our coun- 
tryman, responded with hearty promptitude. The formation 
of this regiment, which became known as the Fifteenth In- 
fantry of Wisconsin, was commenced at Camp Randall, 
Madison, in December, 1861. Its members were chiefly com- 
posed of the Scandinavian population of that state. The 
Honorable Hans Heg, formerly state-prison commissioner, 
was appointed colonel of the regiment, and, under his super- 
vision, the organization was effected. He had previously 
been renominated as commissioner, but a desire to serve his 
country in the field led him to choose the duties of a soldier. 
The regiment roster was as follows : 




Hans C. Heg, Colonel. 
Lieut.-Colonel. Charles M. Reese, Majoi-. 

Ole Heg, Quartermaster. 
S. I. Hansen, 1st Assist. Surgeon. 
C. L. Clausen, Army Chaplain. 


Company A— Emanuel Engelstad. 
B— Joseph Mathiesen. 

K. K. Jonea. 

Hans C. Borchsenius, Adj. 

Stephen O. Himoe, Surgeon. 

G. F. Newell, 2d Assist. Surgeon. 


Company A — Andrew Thorkildson. 

B— Ole C. Johnson. 

C— Prederik R. Berg. 

D— Charles Campbell. 
" E— John Ingmundson. 

" P — Charles Gustavson. 

" G— John A. Gordon. 

H— Knud J. Sime. 
" I — August Gasman. 

' ' K — Mons Grinager. 

C — Hans Hansen. 
D— Albert Skofstad. 
E— William Tjentland. 
F— Thor SimonsoQ. 
G— Henry Hauff. 
H — Andrew A. Brown. 
I — Reynard Cook. 
K — Ole Peterson. 

Company A— Oliver Thompson. Company F — Svend Samuelson. 

" B— George Wilson. " G— Will. A. Montgomery. 

C— John T. Rice. " H— John L. Johnson. 

D— Christian E. Tandberg. " I— Martin Russell. 

" E— John M. Johnson. " K — Olaus Solberg. 

On the 2d of March, 1862, the regiment left Madison 
amid the cheers of the people, having been escorted to the 
depot by the Sixteenth Regiment, Colonel Allen, who gave 
them their good wishes and an earnest farevsrell with the 
voice of a booming cannon. The Fifteenth had nearly nine 
hundred men, a few of them Americans, while some of the 
Norwegians had been in America less than a year. 

The material of the regiment looked hardy and active, 
and some of its number had served in foreign armies. On 
their route to Chicago, they encountered a snow-storm, and, 
at one point, were obliged to shovel their way through it. 


but, at their arrival in Chicago, they were cordially met by 
the Scandinavian society, Nora Lodge, and by them pre- 
sented with a flag, having, on one side, the American colors, 
and on the reverse, the American and Norwegian arms 
united, the Norwegian being the picture of a lion with an 
axe, on a red field. The committee that made the presenta- 
tion consisted of Messrs. S. T. Gunderson, G. Roberg, A. An- 
derson, A. Loberg, and C. Dietrichson. From Chicago they 
proceeded to St. Louis, where they were ordered to Bird's 
Point, Mo., opposite Cairo, and at that place they disem- 
barked for the purpose of going into encampment. How- 
ever, the regiment did not engage in any action of import- 
ance until they joined an expedition of fifteen hundred men 
to Union City, Tenn., where a force of rebels were to be cap- 
tured. They left Hickman, Kentucky, on the 11th of June, 
in the afternoon, and went to within four miles of Union 
City, where they camped for the night. The march was very 
rapid. Everybody was arrested on the road who was likely 
to advertise their approach. The next morning, shortly be- 
fore seven, the first shots of the pickets were heard, and soon 
after our forces opened on the rebels, who fired their camp 
and fled, leaving swords, pistols, and much clothing behind 
them. Among other trophies taken was a secession flag, 
captured by Company G, on which was inscribed: "Hill's 
Cavalry; Victory or Death," from which it would be legiti- 
mately inferred that the whole regiment was killed, since 
that was the only alternative of victory. 

Thence the regiment moved to join Davis' division, and 
entered Florence, Alabama, on the 26th of August. But, 
already on the twenty-eighth they joined in the march to 


Nashville, to intercept General Bragg in his raid into Ken- 
tucky, and his threatened invasion across the Ohio. Beyond 
Nashville they proceeded with Buell's army through Bo-wl- 
ing Green and Murfordsville, reaching Louisville late in Sep- 
tember, wearied, worn, ragged, and hungry, on account ot 
their long and trying march, during a part of which they 
had subsisted on half-rations, and suffered greatly for want 
of water. 

In common with the Union army, they moved next to 
Chaplin Hills, near Perryville, and of their part in that bat- 
tle a brief relation will be in order. The Fifteenth Wisconsin, 
of General Gilbert's corps, formed in line of battle in the 
woods, at some distance from the severest fighting. One 
company was sent forward as skirmishers, and was soon 
engaged with the enemy in force. The brigade, which was 
commanded by Colonel Carlin, supported Sheridan's division. 
They had scarcely emerged from the woods before the rebels 
begin a retreat to the protection of their artillery. The sur- 
face of the country being broken, some shelter was afforded 
to the brigade, and, by passing exposed positions with 
rapidity, it suffered but little loss. This advanced regiment 
continued to press the enemy, who were constantly retreat- 
ing, and planted their batteries where they found it conven- 
ient. After the advance had been made in this manner for 
about a mile.a brief halt was ordered, but, upon ascertaining, 
that the rebels were yet in retreat, the Union soldiers again 
rallied and pursued them. Another halt was ordered within 
a quarter of a mile of the village, and the men lay down 
behind a small elevation of ground. The rebels kept up their 
fire upon them with canister and shell,while the Union troops 


replied with their rear artillery, which threw shell over the 
heads of their advanced troops into the line of the enemy. 
At len^h, after a running fire of about two hours, the bri- 
gade was ordered to retire. In accomplishing this they cap- 
tured thirteen wagons loaded with amunition, and succeeded 
in bringing with them over one hundred prisoners. The bat- 
tle continued until darkness closed the scene, being extremely 
fierce in the latter part of the afternoon. But, as daylight 
passed away, our flag was triumphant, our troops Occupy- 
ing the ground held by the enemy in the morning, with Ms 
right wing turned. The destruction of life had been apalliHg. 
The woods, cornfields, and open spaces were, in many places, 
strewTi with the slain. The remaining soldiers slept on their 
'arms, with their dead comrades around them, and the next 
inorriing only the rear gaurd of the enemy w^as within reach 
of our guns. 

The Fifteenth Regiment was next employed at Crab 
Orchard, as a provost guard, for a week, and thence pro- 
ceeded to Edgefield Junction, where, in November, they joined 
an expedition, commanded by Lieutenant McKee, fifty miles 
down the Cumberland river, in search of Morgan's guerrillas. 
They returned, after five days, with half a hundred prisoners, 
many horses, mules, and wagons, having destroyed guerrilla 
premises, a distillery, whiskey, salt, and grain. General 
McCook complimented them in high terms on their success. 
The regiment moved then to Nashville, where they were 
occupied with skirmishing and guarding forage trains until 
December 25th. 

On Christmas eve, 1862, the decision was made to 
'advance the next day. At dawn the troops broke up camp, 


and poured along tlie highways with shouts of joy, the great 
mass little thinking how many of them, or who, were soon 
to fall in battle. McCook's three divisions advanced on the 
Nolinsville pike, meeting the enemy's artillery and cavalry, 
skirmishing all the way, and closing the day with a sharp 
fight. The Fifteenth Wisconsin was in this force, and gradu- 
ally drove the rebels to a strong and nearly impregnable 
gorge in a mountain (Knob Gap), which they had fortified 
byaforce of dismounted cavalry and eight pieces of artillery . 
The order was given to Colonel Carlin to capture that bat- 
tery. He commissioned Lieutenant-Colonel McKee, of the 
Fifteenth regiment, to undertake the desperate task. Accord- 
ingly, Colonel McKee led the brigade line of skirmishers. 
They approached to the very mouths of the artillery, which 
opened upon them with shot and shell. But these intrepid 
men steadily advanced, followed by the brigade, which soon 
poured in a tremendous fire, which caused the rebels to yield, 
leaving one brass six-pounder behind, marked "Shiloh," 
they having captured it in that battle. In this charge Col- 
onel Heg was conspicuous in his gallant attempt to reach 
the before-mentioned cannon ; and he took possession of it 
in the name of the Fifteenth Wisconsin. On the morning of 
the 30th, the regiment was formed in line-of-battle, made a 
cautious advance, and Company E, under Captain Ingmund- 
son, w^as sent out to skirmish, and encountered the enemy 
about noon. The regiment was soon ordered to support the 
skirmishers, and in the engagement Captain Ingmundson 
was slain. Colonel Heg retreated slowly, and his men, tak- 
ing refuge behind a fence, held the position until dark, and 
rested upon their arms during the night, in the severe cold, 


"without fire. Oh the next morning, at four o'clock, the regi- 
ment was in line-of-battle. They first supported a battery, 
and then took a position from which they at length were 
forced to retire, the rebels advancing upon the Fifteenth in 
solid columns. At this point. Colonel McKee and some others 
were killed, and several wounded. Colonel Heg then with, 
drew his men to avoid an overwhelming force of the enemy. 
Again he posted his troops behind a fence, within four or five 
hundred yards of the Murfreesboro' pike, and poured some 
destructive volleys into the rebels. Still they were too many 
for him to withstand, and he crossed the turnpike, rallied his 
men, and remained there the rest of the day. The losses on 
the 30th and 31st of December were: Killed, fifteen; 
wounded, seventy ; missing, thirty-four ; total, one hundred 
and nineteen men. The report of Brigadier General Carlin 
testified to the great bravery, both of privates and ofiicers, 
in these engagements. The Scandinavian blood was thor- 
oughly tested, and found to be inferior to none in point of 
courage and endurance. 

After the Stone River battle the regiment partook of the 
suffering of Rosecrans' army for want of clothing, provis- 
ions, and tents. January 31, 1863, they went on a scouting 
expedition against Wheeler's and Forrest's forces, tarried a 
few days at Franklin, and returned. Other expeditions and 
outpost and picket duties engaged them until the movement 
of Rosecrans' army, June 24th, toward Chattanooga. In 
August they crossed the Cumberland mountains, and en- 
camped at Stevenson, Alabama. Their brigade laid the pon- 
toons across Tennessee river, and they were the first to pass 
over. They crossed Sand and Lookout mountains, and 


joined the main part of the artny, near Chicamatiga Cfeek, 
on the 18th of September. The next morning, at eight 
o'clock, they were in motion, and soon after noon hurried 
forward at a double-quick into line-of-battle, to fill a gap 
through which the rebles were striving to pass and cut out 
armyin two. ColonelHeg's brigadewas formed in two lines, 
the Fifteenth Wisconsin and Eighth Kansas in front, the 
former having the right. They were at once pushed forward 
through dense underbrush, and had not advanced more than 
fifty yards when they met and drove the rebel skirmishers. 
Still advancing, they encountered a heavy fire from the 
enemy's main line. After a severe fight, the Eighth Kansas 
wavered and left the Fifteenth unsupported, which was soon 
compelled to fall back also, bearing with them most of their 
wounded. Captain Johnson, of Company A, was killed in 
this action. An Illinois regiment was now sent forward, with 
the Fifteenth for its support. After a short but hard strug- 
gle, the Illinois regiment was forced back, and retreated over 
the Fifteenth, which was lying down. The regiment now 
became hotly engaged. The troops in line of their rear, sup- 
posing that the regiment which had fallen back was the last 
of the Federals in front, opened fire upon the Fifteenth. 
Thus, placed between the fire of friends and foes, there was 
no alternative except to break up the regiment and escape as 
they best might manage. The enemy now attacked and 
routed the rear line, continuing the pursuit across a field, 
where the Federals rallied, reformed, and checked the elated 
foe. The regiment was, however, not organized again that 
day, but the men in detachments joined other commands 
near them and remained On the field. At night. Lieutenant- 


Colonel Johnson collected his scattered men. Throughout 
the day Colonel Heg was intensely active in encouraging his 
brigade, and himself set an example of noble valor. Unfortu- 
nately he was /Wounded by a shot in the bowels, near the 
close of the day, and died in the field hospital during the 
night. In his report, General McCook mentions with special 
honor the name of this fallen hero. 

Theregiment was called up next morning at three o'clock, 
and placed in a commanding position on the Chattanooga 
road, to the right, and in reserve. At ten o'clock in the morn- 
ing the battle commenced with terrible fury. The brigade, 
now commanded by Colonel Martin, was ordered to fill the 
gap made by the withdraw^al of General Wood. Hardly had 
they got into line before they were hotly attacked. The men, 
protected by rude defenses of logs and rails, twice repulsed 
the rebels, with great slaughter, after which, both flanks 
being turned, thej^ still held out, hoping lor reinforcements, 
until nearly surrounded, when they broke and attempted to 
save themselves. They w^ere the last to leave their position. 
Many were captured, including Lieutenant-Colonel Johnson. 
All efforts to rally the men near the Chattanooga road prov- 
ing fruitless, the retreat was continued a mile, when a tena- 
ble position was reached, and the scattered men of the regi- 
ments were gathered and consolidated into one force. They 
held a position here until five o'clock in the afternoon, when 
they were ordered five miles further to the rear, where they 
bivouacked for the night, and the fragments of their regi- 
ment were brought together. Captain Johnson, of Company 
A, and Captain Hauff, of Company E, were killed. Major Wil- 
son and Captain Gasman had received some severe wounds. 


Captain Hansen, of Company C, and Second Lieuten- 
ant C. E. Tandberg, of Company D, were both fatally 

The Fifteenth Regiment subsequently engaged on the 
fortifications at Chattanooga; a part escorted a supply train 
to Stevenson, the rest cut and rafted timber for pontoon 
bridges, and, all united, moved out of Fort Wood, at Chat- 
tanooga, under command of Captain Gordon, on the 25th of 
November, tc engage in the assault on Missionary Ridge. On 
the same morning, Hooker set out for Lookout Mountain 
toward Rossville, driving the enemy before him down its east- 
ern declivity, and across the valley toward the ascent of Mis- 
sionary Ridge at our right. He was detained three hours by 
building a bridge across the Chattanooga creek, but at half- 
past three in the afternoon was approaching on the Rossville 
road. That approach was to be the sign for the other forces 
to move. At twenty minutes to four o'clock, six signal guns 
are fired, and the long-waiting, ardent troops leap forth first 
to carry the rifle-pits at the foot of Missionary Ridge. As 
they arrived at the base of the mountain, the rebel pickets 
swarm out of their pits in great amazement, and flee before 
them. As yet no command had been given to go beyond the 
base, but they stop not for orders. A few moments' delay is 
caused to re-form the line, and then they start up the ascent. 
Front and enfilading shots from musketry and fifty cannon 
are plunging down upon them. Some fall; the rest press 
dauntlessly on; they clamber up the side, leaping ditches, 
jumping logs, advancing in zigzag lines, rushing over all ob- 
stacles, dodging, if they can, the missiles of heavy stones 
thrown upon them by the rebels, and thrusting aside their 


bayonets, until they reach the top, beat back the enemy, and 
take the ridge. 

The Fifteenth Wisconsin then proceeded to reinforce Burn- 
side, at Knoxville, marching one hundred and ten miles with 
scanty rations. From that place they made various short 
marches, and December 25th moved to Strawberry Plains, 
seventeen miles from Knoxville, and there aided in building a 
railroad bridge. January 15th, 1864, at Dandridge, they 
were joined by a party of convalescents, who, on their route 
from Chattanooga, had just taken part in a severe engage- 
ment with Wheeler's cavalry at Charleston, Tennessee, rout- 
ing the rebels, w^hose loss was ten killed and one hundred and 
sixty-seven wounded and prisoners. In January they had 
orders to proceed on a veteran furlough to Wisconsin, but 
the threatening movements of the enemy forbade their going, 
and they still kept at duty in the field. Early in April they 
moved southAvard to join the Army of the Cumberland, and, 
encamping at McDonald Station, Tennessee, made prepara- 
tions for the spring campaign. The first design was to reach 
Atlanta, one hundred and thirty-eight miles southwest of 
Chattanooga, one of the most important towns of Georgia, 
a large manufacturing place, where an immense amount of 
arms, amunition, and clothing for the rebel army was made. 
The route to Atlanta lay, in part, over a rough, mountain- 
ous country, but the charm of spring w^as then upon it, and 
the desolation of war had not yet come. On the 8th of May, 
Howard's corps (Fifteenth and Twenty-fourth Wisconsin 
Infantry) carried a ridge near Buzzard Roost, but found it 
too narrow for operation in order to carry the pass near it. 
The Rebel-General Johnson soon saw that if he remained in 


the entrenchment around Dalton,his communications would 
be cut off, and he therefore left his cherished position on May 
12th, retreating on a short line to Resaca, which was eight- 
een miles farther toward Atlanta. On the morning of the 
14th, the Federal spies set upon the enemy in their entrench- 
ment at Resaca. During the battle two of the enemy's guns 
were silenced by the Fifteenth Wisconsin, and a desperate 
charge made by the rebels was repulsed with heavy loss to 
them. Five of the regiment were killed and twelve wounded. 
Yet our troops were making such inroads upon the enemy's 
works that, during the night of the 15th, they quietly evacu- 
ated Resaca, and retreated toward Kingston, thirty-two 
miles farther south, and thence to Dallas. 

The cavalry division, under Sherman and McCook, pur- 
sued the enemy on their retreat from Resaca, and the whole 
army quickly followed, crossing the Ostanula river. The 
roads were very rough, the marching careful and slow. 
Johnston, meanwhile, took a shorter route, and, with the 
larger part of his army, reached Dallas first. The Fifteenth 
became engaged in the heavy skirmishing and fighting on the 
27th, and, as they were crossing a ravine, exposed them- 
selves to a heavy fire from the enemy's artillery. They made 
a desperate charge, and came so near the rebel breast-works 
that some w^ere killed w^ithin a few feet of them. They found 
it impossible to dislodge the enemy, but succeeded in estab- 
lishing our line within fifteen yards of their fortifications. 
They held this position for more than five hours, although 
exposed to a severe fire of musketry. The enemy, having 
been reinforced, charged upon their weakened ranks, until at 
length they were forced to retire, leaving the dead and 


wounded on the field. On the next day, May 28th, the Fed- 
erals, having thrown up defenses four miles from Dallas, were 
attacked by the enemy in force. Our men saw the attack as 
it was coming, and, throwing up some slight defenses, re- 
served their fire until the rebels were within sixty feet of 
them. The heavy shot of the enemy crushed through the 
Union ranks, but they firmly held their ground. At given 
signal, a thousand muskets sped their deadly bullets with 
unerring aim at the yelling, exulting foe, and volley after vol- 
ley, in rapid succession, mowed down their deep and thick 
ranks. The Federal artillery joined their fire, and the ground 
occupied by the foe w^as soon strewn with the mangled, the 
dying and the dead. Once driven back, they rallied and 
rushed forward again; three times they came, three times 
they w^ere repulsed, and then fled, leaving a great number of 
wounded and dead. This was the principal battle of Dallas. 
On June 23d the Fifteenth Regiment was actively engaged 
in the assault upon the rebel position at Kenesaw mountain, 
w^here it suffered a loss of six killed and wounded. From this 
time to the 3d of July, when the enemy evacuated, it partici- 
pated in advancing, skirmishing, and driving the enemj^ from 
line to line of their works on Pine, Lost and Kenesaw mount- 
ains. Afterward they pressed forward in pursuit of them 
toward the Chattahooche river, and captured a number of 
rebels. Again, and sadly, the rebels took up their retreat, 
leaving their perfected and expansive defenses on the Chata- 
hooche, removing their heavy guns seven miles to Atlanta, 
and falling back w^ith their main army toward the fortifica- 
tions of that city. Then Sherman moved a part of his own 
forces across the river, took possession of the rebel works, 


and of certain important strategic points in that direction^ 
The Fifteenth was in reserve at the battle of Peach Tree 
Creek on July 20th, and marched then toward Atlanta, and 
joined in the siege. The regiment w^as engaged in picket and 
fatigue duties until August 25th, when they joined in the 
movement to the south of that city, and participated in the 
engagement at Jonesboro, returning to Atlanta the 9th of 
September. During the fall they were ordered to perform 
provost guard duty and various functions of a similar na- 
ture, until their final muster out, February, 1865, at Chat- 

The recruits and veterans of the regiment, seventy-two 
in number, were transferred to the Twenty -fourth, and sub- 
sequently to the Thirteenth Wisconsin. 

Three hundred Scandinavian soldiers, or just one-third 
of the entire Fifteenth Regiment were killed on fields of bat- 
tle or died in our army hospitals. Their names will be a roll 
of honor in all times to come ! 

As tar as facts are concerned, this article was carefnlly revised by Skordalsrold and 
myself in 1899. In regard to other Scandinavian Oivil War soldiers from Minnesota, 
Iowa, and Wisconsin, see pp. 3034, Vol. I., and pp. 66-8 and 119-21, Vol. 11. Soldiers from 
Illinois and some Eastern states will be referred to in the third Tolnme.— Editoe. 

Historical Review of the Danish Evangel- 
ical Lutheran Church in America. 


The Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is 
an independent organization, and not connected with any 
of the Scandinavian, German, or American synods in this 
country. The church has its own government and constitu- 
tion ; but as many of her ministers have received their edu- 
cation in Denmark, and have been assisted financially, by an 
annual sum appropriated by the Danish Parliament, as w^ell 
as by private contributions of some church people at home, 
the Danish-American Lutheran Church considers herself as a 
branch of the Church of Denmark, and is so considered by 
her. And in the interest of our church in this country a com- 
mittee exists in Denmark called Udvalget, consisting mostly 
of theological professors from the Royal University of Den- 
mark, and clergymen of high rank. But no laws are dictated 
to us from abroad, the mother church has never made any 
attempt of ruling in purely local matters ; yet it has always 
been our practice to regard Udvalget as the highest au- 



thority from which we look for a decision in all matters of 
controversy, in fact the authority of Udvalget is recognized 
by our church constitution. Consequently the church govern- 
ment of the Danish-American Lutheran Church is neither 
episcopal nor synodical. 

The first beginning of our church in this country was 
made in 1871. Many Danish- Americans had previously sent 
letters home wherein they had stated their longing after 
church services in the mother tongue, which at that time 
could not be satisfied, as there existed no Danish Lutheran 
church in this country.* Norwegian ministers tried to meet 
the religious wants of the Danes, but only a few could be 
reached by them, and the Norwegian clergymen joined the 
Danes in sending a "Macedonian cry " to the mother church 
at home. This gave the impulse to the formation of Udvalget 
in 1869, with the purpose of helping the Danes in this 
country to secure ministers. In 1871 one clergyman and 
two laymen were sent to the United States. The clergyman 
visited and held meetings in many Danish settlements, and 
investigated other matters in regard to the Danes in this 
country, then returned to his native land. 

One of the laymen, A. S. Nielsen, was ordained shortly 
after and became pastor at Cedar Falls, Iowa, then preached 
in Chicago for fourteen years. The other layman, R. Ander- 
sen, became a student at Augsburg Seminary, was ordained 
in 1872, and has for many years been pastor and missionary 
among the emigrants and seamen in New York and Brook- 
lyn. In 1871 both Rev. N. Thomsen and the writer of this 
article arrived and took charge of Danish Lutheran congre- 
gations in Indianapolis, Ind., and Racine, Wis., respectively. 

♦Apparently, two or three pnrely Banish Lutheran congregations existed before 
1871. For example, Eev. M. F. Wiese, a Dane, organized one at Indianapolis, Ind., in 
connection with the Norwegian Synod, April 17, 1868.— Editoh. 


Both these men had been missionaries, the former in East 
India and the latter in Jerusalem, in the Holy Land. The 
above named four persons were the first clergymen of the 
Danish Lutheran Church in this country. 

In 1872 the Danish ministers, together with some lay- 
men, organized the Church Mission Society, at Neenah, Wis., 
and at the same time commenced the publication of Kirkelig 
Samler, w^hich has ever since been the official organ of the 
church. In 1874 the society changed its name to The Danish 
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, effected a stronger 
organization, and adopted a constitution. 

At first the work was missionary in its nature, and the 
ministers often had to make long and troublesome journeys on 
foot or on horseback, in order to reach the scattered Danish 
settlements. In latter years the clergymen have had more 
regular charges. 

In 1880 the church became the owner of a school, pat- 
terned after the Danish high schools, which had been founded 
at Elk Horn, Iowa, two years before; but in 1887 the whole 
plan of the institution was changed, and we lost control of 
it in 1890. Two or three smaller schools are controlled by 
members of our church. For some years we had a theological 
seminary at WestDenmark, Wis.,but in 1896 we established 
a theological seminary and college combined in Des Moines, 
la., at a cost of about $20,000. We have also an orphans' 
asylum in Chicago, where many poor children are cared for 
and educated. 

During the twenty-nine years of church life of our church 
there have been many controversies of different nature. The 
first and one of the most important disputes arose about 
1872, between the Church Mission Society and the Norwe- 


gian-Danish Evangelical Lutheran Conference, together with 
other Norwegian Lutheran church organizations, in regard 
to some local church property, but more especially in regard 
to theological questions. The property question was settled 
by the judicial courts in Racine, Wis. But the teaching of 
Grandtvigianjstn, the doctrine held by the renowned Danish 
bishop and poet, N. F. S. Grundtvig, permitting, among 
other things, a more liberal interpretation of the Bible — as ad- 
vocated especially by the writer of this article — has never died 
out.* For in late years the same question has been agitated 
in our church and has called forth many articles in thepapers 
and hot words at the aunual meetings. Today there are two 
factions among us, the followers of Bishop Grundtvig, and 
the so-called Mission People; both are recognized by the 
Church of Denmark as belonging to the Lutheran church, 
and they are about equal in strength.! 

Our church as a body is small, having only in 1900 about 
50 ministers, 80 congregations, and 8,000 communicant 
members, more than half of whom are to be found in the 
states of Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. Yet 
we have organizations in all the central Northwestern as 
well as some of the Eastern and Western states. The value 
of the church property amounts to about $250,000. We 
have a mission among the Mormons in Utah, where a great 
number of Danes have settled and believe that faith. We in 
this country do not have any mission of our own among the 
heathens, but we contribute annual^ a fair sum to the dif- 

* It should be observed tbat the well-known Rev. C. L. Clausen, also a Dane, who 
for many years was one of the most prominent Lutheran clergymen among the 
early Danish- Norwegian settlers in this country, leaned also, at least at first, to- 
wards Grundtvigiaaism . — Editor. 

{The coatroveisy and separation of the two parties are discnased in Vol. II., pp. 52-5. 
The statistics on this page are brought up to date by myself, and the last half of page 
109 has been rewritten for this edition.— Editoe. 


ferent Danish missions in East India and among the Jews iu 
the Holy Land. 

Every congregation has a Sunday school. Some congre-« 
gations support permanent teachers who every day give re- 
ligious and secular instruction, both in Danish and English, 
to the children. In other places Danish students teach dur- 
ing the summer vacation, and in some instances the clergy- 
men keep school every Saturday the whole year round. 

The church has successfully tried to establish Danish 
colonies or settlements in Shelby county, Iowa; in Lincoln 
county, Minn.; in Clark county, Wis.; and in the southern 
part of Texas. 

Historical Review of Hauge's Evangelical 
Lutheran Synod in America. 

— BY- 

Every effect has its cause. When the church had the 
most temporal power, the distinctive Christian doctrines 
were the most neglected . This seeming paradox becomes clear 
when we remember that Christ's kingdom, though in the 
world, is not of the world. Religion is an individual rela- 
tion and cannot be forced into existence by the mandate of 
a temporal ruler. During the Dark Ages church life had sunk 
to its low^est ebb. Bishops robbed, priests swore, the Bible 
was replaced by the" Picture-book," and prayers were mum- 
laled in a foreign tongue. The lethargic soul could not liftits 
drowsy gaze beyond the symbol. But the onward sweep of 
the glad tidings was not to be stopped, only retarded. 
" Truth crushed to earth shall rise again." The great move- 
ments of the crusades had given an opportunity to compare, 
and comparison educates. The people had become conscious 
of their own strength and the scarecrows of the tyrants had 
become exposed. Scholasticism, which for centuries had 



skirted the ocean of free thought, breaking every wave of 
advancing opinion, was rapidly giving veay. There was 
seeming uniformity and peace, but not the quiet that results 
from the equipoise of the elements. It was the calm that pre- 
cedes the storm. The ship of progress simply drifted. The 
ominous storm-swallow circled about the mast-head. The 
sky was overcast by portentious clouds, and the dark but 
quiet sea gave indications of an approaching storm. Tide 
after tide came rolling shoreward, until finally, at the close 
of the fifteenth century, the crashing wave of the Reforma- 
tion burst with a terrifying roar against the time worn in- 
stitutions, tumbling them out of the way. This cleared the 
close and stifling atmosphere. As the dead- weight of igno- 
rance and superstition was lifted, the human mind expanded. 
Thought advanced and colossal figures came upon the stage 
to give direction to that thought. 

The Reformation gave to the world an open Bible. The 
effect was wonderful. When that Bible was again in danger 
of being closed, Gustavus Adolphus, "the greatest Teuton of 
them all," on the plains of Liitzen, sealed with his own blood 
the religious liberties of Teutonic Europe. 

The pendulum of progress swings from one extreme to 
another. During the Middle Ages, the "Age of Faith," an 
appeal lay to authority only. At the close of the eighteenth 
century, reason and experience ^vere considered supreme 
arbiters. This tendency is called rationa/ism. The term was 
first used by Kant. " Rationalism is that tendency in modem 
thought which claims for the unaided human reason the right 
of deciding in matters of faith. It asserts the prerogative of 
the intellect to be supreme arbiter in all departments of re- 


vealed truth. It requires certainty as the condition of its 
favor, and, with Wolf, promptly rejects what does not come 
before it with all the exactness and clearness of a mathemat- 
ical demonstration." The sources of rationalism were va- 
rious, embracing different countries as well as different de- 
partments of investigation. The pantheism of Spinoza was 
a welcome substitute for the heartless doctrine by which God 
was excluded from his own creation. The deism of England 
was industriously propagated in Germany, where the works 
of Herbert, Hobbes, Tyndal, and Woolston were circulated 
among the people. In Prance the influence of Voltaire and 
the encyclopedists was unbounded. It was not till the latter 
half of the last century that a reaction set in, heralded by 
such men as Jacobi and Schleiermacher. 

Rationalism, Kke a huge billow, had swept over the 
whole of Christendom attacking everything that impeded its 
progress, leaving moral slime and desolation in its wake. It 
even dashed up against the rock-ribbed shores of old Nor- 
way, lashing its filthy scum far into her peaceful valleys. 
The clergy of Norway enjoy the reputation of being hospit- 
able and intelligent ; but at this juncture they seem to have 
partaken of the" deep sleep "that had fallen on the Christian 
church. Rationalism was rampant at the University and 
thence spread to the country districts. On Christmas morn- 
ing, the worthy pastor took occasion to inform his flock on 
improved methods of constructing stables and mangers. In 
expounding the text about the "sower and seed " new or im- 
proved methods for tilling the soil came in for consideration. 
This was excellent information, no doubt, but it was not 
the Gospel of Christ, w^hich he was commissioned to preach. 


As the last century drew to its close, a peasant lad, 
Hans Nilsen Hauge (pronounced Howgey) appeared on the 
scene. Being thorough^ aroused and converted at an early 
age, he felt impelled to preach the Gospel to his kinsmen and 
neighbors. For a layman to preach was not only unusual, 
hut unlawful. He was warned — he wavered. Being of a mod- 
est and retiring disposition, he seriously doubted his own fit- 
ness. His conscience, however, would give him no peace, and 
soon his fearless and persuasive testimony had been heard 
in every hamlet and valley in the country. Persecutions 
followed thick and fast. Meetings were broken up, the 
worshipers were rudely dispersed, and Hauge himself was 
dragged into prison. Ten times was he incarcerated; he 
literally rotted in a common jail. All this for no other crime 
than admonishing his countrymen to lead a Christian life 
according to the teachings of the established church, and 
assisting his followers to gain a livelihood by developing the 
resources of the country. In our age of toleration, we are 
astonished that such a man should be persecuted. And yet, 
humanity has always been prone to abuse its benefactors. 
Every age has starved its Homer, poisoned its Socrates, 
banished its Aristides, stoned its Stephen, burned its Savano- 
rola, or imprisoned its Galileo. The imprisonment of Hauge 
did not have the desired eifect. The spark soon kindled into 
flame. Other laymen arose to continue the work and a 
mighty impulse, that no human power could check, swept 
over the land. This persecuting attitude of the church 
toward the revival movement created a wide cleft between 
the state clergy and the more zealous Christian element of 
the laity. The difficult j- was augmented by the fact that 


many of the clergy held the tenets of Grundtvig, a Danish 
divine of considerable influence, who differed from the estab- 
lished faith in many points. This naturally created distrust, 
as the laity were sticklers for pure doctrine as well as for 
holy living. 

It should be stated, however, that in spite of these diffi 
culties Hauge and his friends never entertained the idea of 
leaving the state church. They did not desire to form a new 
and separate church organization. All they wished was a 
spiritual revival — the introduction of spiritual life into the 
dead forms. Consequently, in Norway, they all worship and 
commune in the same church. The revival movement, on the 
other hand, has had a salutary influence on the state church 
and the chief professors of theology at the University of 
Norway have of late been the friends and allies of the 

In 1839, EUing Eielsen, a lay preacher and a staunch 
supporter of Hauge, came to the United States and settled 
in the Fox River settlement. 111. In Chicago, then but a 
traders' post, he preached his first sermon on American soil. 
The first Norwegian Lutheran " meeting house " w^as erected 
under his care at Fox River, shortly after his arrival in this 
country. Eielsen was an energetic man and a zealous 
preacher. The burden of his discourse w^as, "Repent and 
believe." Soon he had visited all the places in the Northwest 
where his countrymen had settled. As an itinerant he suf- 
fered untold hardships, but his zeal never flagged. As an 
evangelist, he was emrainently successful; and had he pos- 
sessed the talent for organizing that he had for preaching, 
the future church historian might have had a different story 


to tell. As an organizer he was sorely deficient. The peo- 
pie, however, soon began to feel the need of a formal orga- 
nization. His friends at Fox River, therefore, requested 
Eielsen to " seek holy orders." Accordingly, Eielsen repaired 
to Chicago and was ordained, Oct. 3, 1843, by Rev. F. A. 
Hoffman, D. D., pastor of a German Lutheran congregation 
at Duncan's Grove, 20 miles north of Chicago.* 

The ordination of Eielsen satisfied a long felt want of a 
clergyman, and, save Eielsen's uncompromising warfare 
against sin, peace and order reigned throughout the congre- 
gations. This condition of affairs, however, was not long to 
continue. Soon after Eielsen's ordination. Rev. J. W. C. 
Diedrichsen, ordained in Norway, and C. L. Clausen, a Dane, 
and ordained by Rev. L. Krause in this country, appeared on 
the field and commenced preaching among the Norwegian 
and Danish settlers. Both of these men leaned, more or 
less avowedly, toward the teachings of Grundtvig,t Clausen, 
however, renouncing these tenets in later years. Diedrichsen, 
in a patronizing way, offered to "affirm" Eielsen's ordina- 
tion. This was rejected as an imposition. t Eielsen and his 
followers did not seem to trust the late comer who appeared 
in the insignia of state church, vaunting its authority. Eiel- 
sen soon regarded Diedrichsen as a rationalist and the lat- 
ter retorted by accusing Eielsen of fanaticism. As to the 
truth of these mutual accusations, future historians will 
have to judge. It seems plain, however, that the two op- 

• See copy of credentials of ordination at Chicago, Cook county, 111., under date 

of October 3, 1843. 
tSee Wiscoasinisme, by H. A. Preiis, p. 5, also Syv Foredrag by him ; quoted 

by O. I. Hattlestad in Historiske Meddelelscr, p. 32. 
J See El. Eielsen^ s Lir., by Brohough and Eistensen, p. 65. 


posing factions of Norway had been transplanted to Ameri- 
can soil where the contest between true piety and stifling 
formalism was to be continued. If this be true, it gives us a 
reasonable clue to the schism in the early Norwegian Lu- 
theran church in America. 

In 1846, on Jefferson Prairie, Wis., Rev. Elling Eielsen 
and his friends organized a society called The Evangelical 
Lutheran Church in America, adopting what has been called 
the "Old Constitution." In 1875 this constitution was 
somewhat modified and the name changed to Hauge's Nor- 
wegian Evangelical Lutheran Sjmod in America. But Eiel- 
sen and a few of his friends, being displeased with the new 
name and the new constitution, withdrew, continuing to 
labor in accordance w^ith the " Old Constitution " and re- 
tained the old name of the organization. 

The need of a school was soon felt, and in 1854 some 
property was bought at Lisbon, 111., with a view of found- 
ing an institution of learning. On account of disagreement 
among the leaders, however, the project was abandoned. In 
1865, another effort was made in the same line in Dane 
county, Wis., and cand. theol. Aaserod w^as engaged as prin- 
cipal. He did not seem to possess the sympathy of the peo- 
ple and the school failed for want of support. In 1867 the 
Synod purchased three acres of land in Red Wing, Minn., and 
commenced breaking ground and procuring materials for a 
school building. Meanwhile flattering offers were made by 
parties at Chicago, and operations were transfered to that 
place. A feeble attempt was made at setting the machinery 
of the school in motion, but the wheels soon clogged and the 
Synod lost whatever means it had invested. During all this 


time the Synod had grown, and the increasing demand for 
ministers and teachers made the want of a school more 
keenly felt from j'car to year. In 1878, by the aid of H. M. 
Sande, of Goodhue county, a handsome and convenient 
school property was bought at Red Wing, Minn. It had 
formerly been a first class boarding school, and owned by a 
corporation. In the fall of 1879 Red Wing Seminary opened 
its doors to students, and classes were organized both in the 
collegiate and theological departments. During the school 
year of 1898-9 there were seven instructors and about 150 
students. Since the school opened, 180 young men have 
graduated from the two departments. This is the only 
school controlled, directly or indirectly, by the synod. 

During its nearly 55 years of existence the Synod has 
given freely to the cause of missions. A modest but steady 
stream of contributions from its congregations and mission- 
ary societies has poured into the coffers of the Mission Society 
of Norway to be distributed over a not insignificant mis- 
sionary field. Of late a great interest has been aroused in 
the missionary work in China. Several persons are already 
in the field and are supported wholly, or in part, by contri- 
butions from the Synod. The home mission work has also 
come in for a modest share of attention. 

It is difiicult to give accurate statistics as the officers 
are remiss in sending in the required reports. The last 
United States census has palpable errors. According to the 
official report of 1899 there are about 100 ministers and pro- 
fessors in the Synod. It numbers nearly 230 congregations, 
scattered over several of the states in the Union, but one- 
third of the members reside in Minnesota. The Synod has, 


in 1900, in the neighborhood of 30,000 members ; probably 
18,000 of them are communicant members, the remaining 
being children not yet confirmed. The total value of the 
church property amounts to about $600,000. 

Budbaereren is the official paper of the Synod ; a child- 
ren's paper is also published. 

Sunday schools are maintained in nearly every congre- 
gation and three or four months parochial school is usually 
taught during the summer season. 

Oflate the aspect of the Synod has somewhat changed. 
Many peculiarities have been modified. From the seminary 
at Red Wing have come many able and earnest young men 
to fill up the serried ranks of the clergy. With these young 
clergymen have come renewed zeal, more liberal ideas, and 
broader views. In the main, however, the organization has 
maintained the characteristics of its youth — a vigorous on- 
slaught, both from pulpit and in private, on the common 
foibles of humanity and the popular forms of vice; such as 
drunkenness, swearing. Sabbath breaking, etc. Lay preach- 
ing, under proper safeguards, week-day prayermeetings, and 
great simplicity in the forms of worship, are favored. The 
old questions, however, so hotly contested in earlier days, 
have lost their spell. It is doubtful if the magical words of 
Slavery, Predestination, Priestly Robes, etc., can ever again 
become the rallying cry of any Lutheran body in America. 
The dream of the younger element in all these bodies is a 
strong, united, Lutheran church, lifting up the war cry, 
" Christ is risen! " — advancing in solid phalanx to do battle 
for Christ and His Kingdom. 

Historical Review of the Norwegian Evan- 
gelical Lutheran Synod in America. 

— BY — 


Although a few persons had previously arrived in this 
country from Norway, the regular Norwegian emigration 
to the United States did not commence before 1836, when 
two ships from Stavanger brought about 160 people who 
settled at Fox River, La Salle county, 111. From this year 
onward the emigration continued steadily and most of the 
immigrants settled in Illinois and southern Wisconsin ; later 
in Iowa and Minnesota. For a number of years, however, 
they were without religious instruction, and had no minis- 
ters of the Gospel who could preach to them in the language 
they understood, and according to the faith in w^hich they 
had been baptized and confirmed. The first ordained Nor- 
wegian Lutheran clergyman w^ho came to attend to the 
spiritual w^ants of his countrymen in the Northwest was 
Wilhelm Dietrichson. He arrived in 1844. C. L. Clau- 
sen, a Dane, who had previously studied theology in 
Denmark, was ordained by a German Lutheran pastor. Rev. 



Krause, of Milwaukee, and commenced to serve Norwegian and 
Danish congregations in 1843. The next arrivals of ordained 
ministers were H. A. Stub, and A. C. Preus, from Norway. 

In 1851 the first endeavors were made to combine the 
scattered Danish and Norwegian congregations into one or- 
ganization; but as the first constitution which had been 
adopted was found to contain Grundtvigianism, then preva- 
lent in Denmark, the organization was dissolved the follow- 
ing year. A new constitution w^as adopted in 1853, at 
Koshkonong, Dane county. Wis. The Synod of the Norwe- 
gian Evangelical Lutheran Church in America was thus or- 
ganized. Seven ministers and 28 congregations united in 
forming the new body. The constitution was revised in 
1865, and ratified two years later. 

The Synod adheres to the old biblical faith and Chris- 
tianity as taught in the Holy Scripture and confessed in the 
three ancient symbols, the Apostolic, the Nicene, and the 
Athanasian creeds, in the unaltered Augsburg Confession, and 
in Luther's smaller catechism. It is strictly orthodox and 
conservative in matters of faith, and no friend of new forms 
of doctrine. It holds to the plenary inspiration of the 
Bible, not only as to contents, but also as to its words, and 
believes that it is the only perfect rule and guide of faith and 
conduct. The total depravity of man by the fall in Adam, 
justification by faith in Christ alone without the works of 
the Law, and the efficacy of the Word of God and the two 
sacraments as means of grace, by which the Holy Spirit 
potently calls, regenerates and sanctifies sinners, are the 
three distinctive doctrines which it constantly holds forth 
without fear and without compromise. 


Although the first clergymen m the Synod were grad- 
uates of the theological department of the University of 
Norway and were ordained ministers in their native land, 
the Synod was never financially supported by, nor was it 
organically connected with, the church in the fatherland. It 
at once became independent in its management. In matters 
of church government the Synod is democratic ; the congre- 
gations alone have the right to call and depose pastors ; the 
pastor is called not for a definite term of years, but to serve 
for life or during good behavior, unless called away to places 
of greater need or importance. The Synod in its relation to 
the congregations is purely advisory. Its object is, accord- 
ing to the constitution, " To keep w^atch over the purity and 
unity of doctrine, as well as of the development of Christian 
life ; to superintend and examine into the official conduct of 
its members, ( professors, pastors, and religious instructors) 
as well as into the religious standing and work of the con- 
gregations ; to reconcile in matters of dispute in regard to 
church questions ; to erect and manage institutions of learn- 
ing for the education of ministers and religious instructors; 
to establish and carry on home and foreign missions; to pro- 
mote the use and distribution of the Bible, religious text- 
books, hymn-books, and devotional literature." 

Owing to the union of church and state in Norway, 
many different religious tendencies were held together by 
external ties in one church. When these tendencies were 
transplanted to a free soil, they soon caused the formation 
of distinct church parties, or synods, all claiming to adhere 
to the Evangelical Lutheran faith and confession. Lay 
preaching, quite prevalent in Norway in the early part of 


this century, was first carried on among the Norwegians in 
this country by Elling Eielsen, who became the founder of 
Hauge's Synod; but the Norwegian Synod, in accordance with 
Article XIV of the Augsburg Confession, beheves , "That no 
man should publicly in the church teach or administer the 
sacraments, except he be rightly, or regularly, called." 

During the Civil War, when the slavery question was 
everywhere agitated, the question arose in the Synod, if 
slavery, or the relation of life servitude, was an injustice and 
sin in itself, or if it ever could exist, or had existed in a 
lawful manner. The Synod took the position, accepted at its 
annual meeting in 1861 : " That, although according to the 
Word of God, it is not sin in itself to hold slaves, still 
slavery is in itself an evil and a punishment from God, and 
we condemn all the abuses and sins connected with it, as we 
are also willing, when the duty of our calling requires it, 
and when Christian love and wisdom demand it, to work 
for its abolition." This biblical question concerning the life 
servitude, permitted according to the Old and New Testa- 
ments, could not be quietly considered in such a time of na- 
tional agitation ; and much excitement with accusations and 
threats, especially against the ministers of the Synod, was 
the result. Hauge's Synod and the Swedish-Norwegian 
Augustana Synod held the view that slavery was sin in 
itself. On account of the controversy arising out of this dis- 
cussion, the Norwegian Synod suffered the loss of Rev. L. C. 
Clausen and several congregations. 

In the controversy regarding the Christian Sunday the 
Synod adhered to Art. XXVIII of the Augsburg Confession, 
which explains the Lutheran view. In the controversy on 


absolution the Synod held that absolution is the proclama- 
tion of the Gospel, to many or to one individual, potently 
administering forgiveness of sins to sinners, but requiring 
faith for its acceptation and proper effect. In connection 
with this doctrine the question was also raised if forgiveness 
of sins was prepared for all sinners, in Christ Jesus, and the 
whole world thus might be said to be justified in him. This 
expression the Synod defended according to the Bible: Rom. 
5, 18, "Even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came 
upon all men unto justification of life." The other bodies 
claimed that justification could only be used with regard to 
those who accepted Christ by faith, which is the generally 
accepted meaning of justification. The doctrinal controver- 
sies on these questions were carried on in conferences and 
public meetings as well as in the secular and religious press. 
In 1871, the parties dissatisfied with the strictly conserva- 
tive policy and confessional rigor of the Synod, together with 
seceders from the Augustana Synod, organized a new relig- 
ious denomination, the Danish-Norwegian Evangelical Luth- 
eran Conference. 

But even during these years of controversy the Synod w^ as 
constantly increasing. Numerous congregations were or- 
ganized all over the Northwestern states, especially in Wis- 
consin, Iowa, and Minnesota. The number of ministers also 
increased rapidly, and it was found expedient to divide the 
Synod into three districts. This was effected in 1876 at the 
meeting of the church held inDecorah,Ia. The districts com- 
prise within their limits all the states and territories in w^hich 
Norwegian Lutherans have settled. 

At the district meetings each congregation is represented 


by one lay delegate and by its minister, as voting members ; 
only such ministers having the right to vote as serve a con- 
gregation formally united with the Synod. 

Every third year the Synod holds its meetings, presided 
over by Rev. H. A. Preus, who has held the office of president 
uninterruptedly for thirty-two years,* being first elected in 
1862. Between the synodical meetings the management is 
exercised by the church council, consisting of the four presid- 
ing officers, and of four lay members, elected by the three dis- 
tricts, and one member elected by the Synod at large. 

During the first years of its existence the Synod was 
dependent for its pastors and instructors upon the university 
and seminaries of Norway ;' and from 1848 to 1858 received 
fourteen theological candidates from the university at Kris- 
tiania, who accepted charges as pastors in the Northwestern 
states. Three of them, however, returned to Norway, and 
during the troubled times of the w^ar but few accessions 
v/ere made from the mother country. For this reason, and 
also in order to obtain men better acquainted with the con- 
ditions and needs of our church in America, it was found 
necessary to provide a theological seminary for the educa- 
tion of ministers in our midst. As both the means and men 
for such an undertaking were scarce, the Norwegian Synod 
in the year 1855 sent delegates to visit and confer with sev- 
eral English and German Lutheran synods in the United 
States. In the German Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Mis- 
rouri, Ohio, and other states, they found a church that 
adhered strictly to the Lutheran faith and principles, with a 
college and theological seminary at St. Louis, Mo., under 
the management of the noted Prof C. F. W. Walther- Here 

•At his death in 1894, Kev. \. Koren succeeded him. 


the delegates met with a hearty welcome, and the German 
Synod invited the students of the Norwegian Synod to at- 
tend their seminary on the same conditions as their own. 
With great love and fraternal good feeling the German 
brethren assisted and encouraged the struggling Norwegian 
Lutherans in the infancy and poverty of their church ; and 
their aid was gratefully accepted. 

In 1859 Rev. Laur. Larsen, then a pastor in Wisconsin, 
was appointed by the Norwegian Synod as its professor at 
Concordia College and Seminary, St. Louis, Mo. When the 
classical department of Concordia College was removed to 
Fort Wayne, Ind., in 1861, the Norwegian Synod had so far 
gained in strength that it determined to conduct a college of 
its own, which began its w^ork the same year in the parson- 
age at Half Way Creek, near La Crosse, Wis. Prof. Laur. 
Larsen was appointed president, which position he has filled 
with great fidelity through all the changes and improve- 
ments in the college till the present date. In 1862 the college 
was removed to Decorah, Ia.,whereland had previously been 
secured. In 1864 the cornerstone was laid to a large build- 
ing, and the next year the present Luther College was dedi- 
cated with imposing ceremonies in the presence of 6,000 Nor- 
wegian Lutherans from far and near. This was the first 
higher institution of learning erected by the Norwegians in 
the United States. That a building of such proportions, at a 
cost of $75,000, could be completed during a period of such 
internal and external strife was due mainly to the untiring 
faith, energy, and self-sacrifice of Prof. Laur. Larsen, and 
Rev. V. Koren, as well as to the joint efforts of the Lutheran 
pastors and church members in the Northwest. 


The insti-uction at the college was at first given by two 
professors, but as the number of students rapidly increased, 
others were appointed, and in 1874 we find seven professors 
and over 200 students. In 1874 a new addition w^as com- 
pleted at a cost of $23,000. Residences for the professors, 
and a large brick church were also provided, and the grounds 
were greatly improved. As the Norwegian people American- 
ized, the college endeavored to keep up with the transition. 
English became more and more the medium of instruction, 
and other branches of stud3' were added, so as to give all 
the facilities of an American college and still retain the 
thorough linguistic and historic training of a European 
gymnasium. In 1881 the course of study was extended to 
seven years, with a preparatory, a normal, and a classical 
department, and the number of professors and instructors 
was increased to nine. In 1889 the college buildings were 
destroyed by fire, but at the meeting of the three districts the 
same year it was resolved immediately to rebuild them. 
The next year they were again completed at acost of $56,000. 
The attendance, which, during previous years of doctrinal 
controversies, had dwindled down to 118, now again in- 
creased, so that since 1890 it has averaged about 200 
Luther College has received four legacies, amounting to 

It had originally been the intent to add a theological de- 
partment to the college at Decorah, but men and means 
were not at once available, and the Norwegian students still, 
for a number of years, studied theology at the German Con- 
cordia Seminary at St. Louis, although this seminary had, 
for a number of years, no Norwegian professor, after Prof. 


Larson removed. As many as twenty Norwegian students 
at one time pursued their studies here, and the graduates 
from this seminary form the main body of the clergy of the 
Nowegian Synod. 

In 1872, to further promote the spirit of Christian fellow- 
ship, the Norwegian Synod joined with four German Luth- 
eran synods in organizing the Synodical Conference, which 
at one time intended to erect and support a theological semi- 
nary for all the synods connected with it ; but the plan was 
frustrated. The Norwegian Synod then, in 1876, bought 
the Soldier's Orphan's Home, Madison, Vvis., for a theologi- 
cal seminary. This institution, called Luther Seminary, be- 
gan with a practical, and afterward added a theoretical 
department ; the first accepts students of Christian knowl- 
edge and experience, who, on account of advanced age or 
other circumstances, are debarred from pursuing a college 
course, but still possess abilities and a desire to enter the 
ministry ; the latter requii'ing a classical, or college education 
for admission. In 1888 the seminary was removed to Rob- 
binsdale, near Minneapolis, Minn., where fine buildings had 
been erected at the cost of $30,000. The faculty consists of 
three professors, who also edit the oificial organ of the 
Synod, Evangelisk Lutbersk Kirketidende. In 1893, 47 
students attended the seminary. 

Thus the Synod took charge of the academic and theo- 
logical training of its adults, but a still more difiicult task 
was found in how to provide relgious instructors for the 
children. There w^as a manifest necessity of having schools 
where more extensive and systematic religious instruction 
could be given than that offered in the Sunday schools. As 


no such schools were provided for by the state or by the 
American churches, the need and the difficulty of this work 
was seriously felt. Instructors for the parochial schools 
were sometimes taken from Norway, or men were employed 
w^ho had received an academy training in this country. 

A normal department for the educating of instructors in 
religion was attempted in connection with Luther College, 
and a special professor was called for this department in, 
1878 ; but the connection with the classical department did 
not work well, and the normal department at Luther Col- 
lege was given up in 1886. After several unsuccessful at- 
tempts a normal school for preparing teachers, both for the 
English common school and for Lutheran parochial schools 
was built in Sioux Falls, S. D., at the cost of $16,000. It 
commenced work in 1889, with three professors, and in the 
winter term of 1898-9, had a total attendance of 115 stu- 
dents, of both sexes. 

Besides these schools, owned and controlled directly by 
the Synod, a number of academies and high schools have 
sprung up within the last ten years, owned and controlled 
by private corporations within the Synod. Among such can 
be mentioned : Willmar Seminary, established 1882, which 
in 1892 had an attendance of nearly 400 students ; Albert 
Lea Lutheran High School, with an attendance of 200 in 
1892; Lutheran Ladies' Seminary, Red Wing, Minn., of 
which the cornerstone was laid in 1893. This is the first in- 
stitution of its kind among the Scandinavians in this coun- 
try. It is to be exclusively for lady students who desire 
instruction in all branches of knowledge especially useful to 
women; business, art, housekeeping, dressmaking, eto., to- 





gether with instruction in religion. Stoughton Academy, 
Stoughton,Wis.,has an attendance of 140 students; Bruflat 
Academy, Portland, N. D., 90; Aaberg Academy, Devils 
Lake, N. D., 80; and Park Region Luther College, Fergus 
Falls, Minn., 200. The Pacific Lutheran University, Ta- 
coma, Wash., completed in 1894, has buildings amount- 
ing to $100,000. 

The Synod also owns and supports Bethany Indian Mis- 
sion, Wittenberg, Wis. This institution obtains Indian 
children from the Winnebago tribe, and civilizes and Chris- 
tianizes them. This school is also partly supported by the 
United States government. 

Martin Luther's Orphans' Home at Madison, Wis., con- 
tains 36 orphans, who are cared for and instructed by the 

Missions, supported partly by the Synod, in connection 
with other branches of the Lutheran. Church, are : The Jew- 
ish Mission, in Montreal, Canada; the Negro Mission, in the 
Southern states ; the Zulu Mission, in South Africa ; the mis- 
sion among the Mormons, in Salt Lake City, Utah; and 
Sailors' Mission, in New York and Brooklyn. The greatest 
mission work, however, is the Home Mission among the 
scattered Norwegian immigrants. 

While the Norwegian Synod was in its greatest pros- 
perity, a time of great strife and trial came upon it. In 1880 
a controversy arose between Dr. F. A. Schmidt, of the 
theological seminary at Madison, Wis., and Dr. C. F. W. 
Walther, and others, in the German Missouri Synod, about 
the doctrine of election and predestination; the former 
claiming that the Missouri Synod taught a Calvinistic 

On pp. 317-35, VoL I., and pp. 23-37, 129-34, and 145-51, Vol. 11., more recent statistica 
and more detailed accounts may be found in legard to most of the institutions referred 
to on the last fire pages, which practically remain as they were published in 1893.— 


theory concerning election ; the latter maintaining Schmidt 
and his followers held synergistic views. The controversy 
which thus began in the German, soon found its way into 
the Norwegian Synod. The question was discussed at min- 
isterial conferences and annual synodical meetings, but no 
agreement between the contending factions seemed possible. 
Excitement ran high, and public discussions were held by 
representatives of both parties, all through the Synod. At 
the theological seminary and at Luther College the faculties 
were divided; the majority, however, adhering to the views 
of Walther and the Missouri Synod, while Prof. Schmidt had 
the greatest following among the lay people. At a confer- 
ence in Decorah, la., in 1884-, each faction drafted a full state- 
ment of their faith, with proofs and testimonies attached, for 
the consideration of the people. The Confession of Schmidt 
and his followers was signed by 72 ministers and professors 
in the Synod; the Explanation of the " Missourians " by 
107. The Schmidt faction declared that they could no 
longer support or attend the institutionsof the Synod, which 
were controlled by "Missourians." An opposition college 
and theological seminary was established at Northfield, 
Minn., where the opponents of the Synod controlled the St. 
Olaf School. Hither Prof. Schmidt removed with some of 
the theological students, and Luther Seminary at Madison 
was almost deserted ; but instruction was still continued 
with tAvo professors and seven students in 1886. The at- 
tendance at Luther College also dwindled down to 118, and 
the finances of the church were in a bad condition. 

At the next joint synod in Stougton, Wis., it was re- 
solved, " That the establishment of an opposition seminary 


at Northfield was in violation of the constitution of the 
Synod, a breach of agreement, a virtual division, and could 
not be tolerated; therefore, the members, who had sup- 
ported this work, were advised to acknowledge their error 
and desist from it." Fifty-seven members signed a protest, 
declaring their intention to continue the seminary at North- 
field, and seceded from the Synod. This example was soon 
followed by the congregations, and in the following two 
years fully one-third of the ministers and congregations 
seceded and organized The Anti-Missourian Brotherhood. 
Before the division, the Synod, according to the parochial re- 
ports, for 1886, numbered 194 clergymen in ofiice, 77,399 
communicants, and 143,867 souls. 

During the last years of the predestination controversy 
the proper work of the Synod had been almost at a stand 
still. The debt had increased, and missionary work had 
languished. But v^rhen the division was effected, and confi- 
dence and internal peace restored, new energy was awakened 
and successful attempts were made to restore finances to a 
better condition. The contribution of the churches for the 
different synodical and missionary-purposes amounted, in the 
year ending May 1st, 1892, to $34,830, but has frequently 
exceeded $50,000. 

According to the reports fo'- 1899, the Synod contained 
nearly .'300 clergymen and professors, '800 congregations, 
70,000 communicant members, and about 125,000 souls. 
The total church property is valued at about 3,000,000. 

From 1885 to 1891 annual meetings were held with the 
other denominations of the Norwegian Lutheran Church, dis- 
cussing the questions which divided them, with a view to fur- 


ther an agreement and union. Although the efforts have not 
been void of good, they have been temporarily given up, 
pending the internal strife in the United Church. 

Another matter seriously discussed at present is the 
transition from Norviregian to English. At all the institutions 
of learning the greater part of the instruction is given 
through the medium of the English language, excepting at 
the theological seminary, where a chair in English has been a 
long-felt want. English Lutheran missions have been estab- 
lished at Chicago, and Minneapolis, and many of the clergy 
do part of their work in English. The Epiphany English 
Lutheran Conference, organized in St. Paul, Minn., in 1892, 
consists of both Norwegian and German pastors. Its aim is 
to cultivate and promote the use of the English language in 
the Lutheran churches of foreign extraction, in order to re- 
tain the old orthodox faith and establish it on American 
soil. For, while the Norwegian Synod is noted for its conser- 
vatism as to doctrine and church principles, it endeavors to 
promote the education and influence of its people in all good 

Historical Review of the Scandinavian Bap- 
tists in the U. 8. and in the North. 



The Baptist faith was introducedanto Denmark as early 
as 1839. In that year Rev. John Gerhard Oncken, a Ger- 
man, came to Copenhagen, where one of his assistants had 
succeeded in gathering a few believers. These w^ere baptized 
by Oncken and organized into a church; the first of its 
kind among the Scandinavian people. These proceedings, 
very innocent in their nature, created quite an excitement in 
Denmark, w^here the Lutheran state church was looked upon 
as the only orthodox Christian body. The Baptist mission- 
aries were denounced and persecuted as a dangerous element 
promulgating heresy and disorder. The members and pas- 
tor of the newly organized church were summoned before 
the magistrates and admonished to desist from their work. 
A decree was passed by the department of state whereby 
they were forbidden to hold meetings, to baptize, or to ad- 
minister the Lord's Supper. But persecution since the day 
of Christ has always been a means of spreading the teach- 



ings which it has been endeavoring to stamp out. It proved 
so here. Private meetings were held, and the attitude of the 
state and church towards the believers in the faith only 
served to make them more zealous and devoted. The Bap- 
tist church in Copenhagen soon numbered thirty-two mem- 
bers, and several churches w^ere organized in other places. 
Meanwhile the persecutions went on. Oncken, and the min- 
ister of the church in Copenhagen, Peter Moenster, were 
hunted by the police, and a reward w^as offered for their ap- 
prehension. In 1840 Moenster and his brother were ar- 
rested and imprisoned. The latter was banished from the 
realm, and, upon his refusal to leave his native land, was 
sentenced to a long term of imprisonment. The persecution, 
not confined to the leaders, but carried on against their fol- 
lowers as w^ell, soon became unbearable, and Oncken resolved 
to go to England to enlist the sympathies of his brethren 
in that country in their behalf. He obtained a recognition 
for these as being regular and w^ell ordered churches of Christ, 
established upon apostolic basis. A deputation of English 
Baptists went over to plead with the Danish government for 
•a milder treatment of their brethren, but to no avail. An- 
other attempt to aleviate tlie harsh condition of the Danish 
Baptists was made by the American and Foreign Publishing 
Societj', which sent Professors Conant and Hackett over to 
petition the King. Through their efforts the King was at 
last persuaded to grant what was called the Law of Am- 
nesty, by which certain privileges were granted the Bap- 
tists, among others that they could assemble privately, and 
administer the Lord's Supper. But they were still forbidden 
to administer baptism, and were required to have their chil- 


dren baptized by the regular ministers within the age re- 
quired by law. They were still subject to fine and imprison- 
ment, and their children were often taken by the clergy 
to be baptized into the state church, for which they were 
compelled to pay, or if they refused their goods were 
seized. To these persecutions the Danish Baptists were 
subject until 1850, when they at last obtained religious lib- 
erty. The church, however, during these years of adversity, 
had prospered, and in 1900 we find about 25 Baptist 
churches and 3,700 members in Denmark, in spite of the fact 
that a great number had emigrated to America during the 
long period of religious persecution. 

The beginning of the Baptist church m Norway is of a 
more obscure origin. This faith was first introduced into 
that country by German colporteurs, probably about the 
years 1845 or '50, but it gained little ground at first, and 
was subject of no general attention until 1868. About 
1857, F. L. Rymker, a Dane, arrived in the northern 
part of Norway and began his fruitful missionary work 
there. Rymker, at first a Danish sailor who through some 
ill fortune had lost one leg, was led to his view of Baptism by 
Mr. Isaac T. Smith, a member of the Baptist Church for Sea- 
men in New York. After his conversion Rymker was sent 
as a missionary to Denmark, where he worked for some 
years among the wounded and crippled of the navy. He 
then went to Norway, and after ten years labor in that 
country he had ordained two ministers and organized six 
churches, with an aggregate membership of two hundred. 
In 1869 a Swedish basket maker, O. Hanson, also entered upon 
the missionary work in Norway, and through his preaching 


twenty-eight persons were soon converted, and a church was 
organized. In 1900 there were about 2,200 Baptists in 
Norway. The various churches scattered throughout the 
country have of late years been organized into the Norwe- 
gian Union of Baptist Churches. In 1892 the American 
Baptist Missionary Union took charge of the missionary 
work in Norw^ay, and steady accessions are being made to 
the church. 

In Sweden the Baptist mission began its work a Httle 
later than in Denmark, and here, as in the other countries, 
the field was first entered by independent missionaries. 
Capt. G.W. Schroeder, who had embraced the Baptistfaithin 
New York, was the first to bring the faith to Sw^eden. In 1847 
F. O. Nilsson, also a sailor, who had been brought to the 
same views by Schroeder, was baptized, and the first Baptist 
church was organized in 1848. The following year Nilsson 
was ordained in Hamburg, Germany, and returned to Sweden 
to preach the Gospel to his countrymen according to his 
faith. But being opposed by the authorities, he was put in 
prison. Upon being released he renewed his preaching and 
was again imprisoned. Three different times Nilsson was 
thrown into prison, and twice he appeared before the High 
Court. At last, in 1851, he was banished from the country, 
when he went to Denmark, and from thence to America. In 
Copenhagen he met and baptized Rev. A. Wiberg, who was 
destined to continue the missionary work in Sweden. Wi- 
berg was an educated man, and a minister in the state 
church in Sweden. After his conversion and baptism he 
went to America and engaged in colporteur work. While 
there he published a book on Baptism, which gained a 


wide circulation in his native land, and through which quite 
a number were converted to the faith. In 1855 the Publica- 
tion Society of Philadelphia established a system of colport- 
age in Sweden, and Wiberg was sent as superintendent. On 
his return he found about five hundred Baptists in Sweden, 
despite the fact that they had been, and still were, subject to 
considerable hardships. In 1856 Wiberg began to edit a 
paper called Erangeliaten, which soon gained a wide cir- 
culation. Ten years later he built a chapel in Stockholm 
with money which he had raised in England and in America. 
The work progressed rapidly, many more workers entered 
the field, among whom w^ere Rev. G. Palmquist and his 
brothers, and soon the faith gained entrance into higher 
circles. After a visit to America, Wiberg returned to Sweden 
in 1866 and started a theological seminary in Stockholm, 
called the Swedish Bethel Seminary, which began its work 
with two professors and seven students, and, under the 
presidency of K. O. Broady, D. D., still continues. In 1900 
there were about 570 Baptist churches and 40,000 members 
in Sweden. 

As far as is known, the first Swedish Baptist in the world 
was John Asplund, who for some time had served in the 
British navy ; but he deserted and came to North Carolina 
in the latter part of the eighteenth century. In this country 
he was immersed, ordained, and drowned in 1807. He 
traveled on foot through all the original thirteen states and 
gathered materials for a statistical Baptist year-book, which 
was published in 1790 and re-issued in new editions for some 
years afterwards. It is claimed that two copies of this 
remarkable book are in Colgate University, Hamilton, N. Y. 


But it is very doubtful if Asplund ever tried, or had a chance, 
to propagate his faith among the Swedes either in the old 
country or in America. Although the before mentioned Capt. 
G. W. Schroeder had been immersed in East River, N. Y., as 
early as 1844, thus becoming the second Swedish Baptist in 
the world, and perhaps some other Swedish-Americans had 
accepted his views before 1852; yet no organization of 
Swedish Baptists existed in this country before that year. 
Consequently, the missionary work among the Swedish peo" 
pie began a little earlier at home than in the United States, 
but in both cases it was commenced by Swedish- Americans, 
and the American Baptists have during the last thirty years 
paid out, nearly one million dollars in order to convert the 
Scandinavians on both sides of the Atlantic. Owing to the 
hardships to which the Baptists in Sweden were subjected 
during the fifties and sixties, many of them were compelled 
to emigrate as soon as they had accepted this faith. This 
may partly explain why there are about twice as many 
Swedish Baptists in the United States, in proportion to the 
population, as there are in Sweden. One person out of every 
60 Swedes in this country is a Baptist, but only one person 
out of every 125 in Sweden confesses that faith. 

The first Swedish Baptist church in this country was organ- 
ized at Rock Island, 111., the 13th of August, 1852, by Gustaf 
Palmquist. Shortly after, mainly through the efforts of 
Palmquist and F. O. Nilsson, organizations sprung into exis- 
tence in different parts of Iowa, Minnesota, and Illinois, so 
that in 1860 the various churches had a total membership of 
about two hundred and fifty communicants. The mission- 
ary viTork among the scattered settlers was often attended 


■with serious difficulty, but the zeal and faithfulness of the 
missionaries seldom flagged. Most of them were men who 
were used to hard manual toil, and few had received the ad- 
vantages of a higher education. But in a new country such 
men can generally accomplish more than persons of great 
learning, the former being nearer to the people. The pioneer 
preachers went on foot long distances and often suffered 
privations, but the faith was preached to the people even in 
the remotest settlements. The church grew rapidly and has 
always continued to do so. Excepting the Lutherans, the 
Swedish Baptists in the United States are today more num- 
erous and conservative than any other religious organization 
among the Swedes in this country. Not including those who 
are members of purely American congregations, there were 
about 12,000 Swedish Baptists in 1890 ; ten years later they 
numbered in the neighborhood of 21,500, being the greatest 
percentage of increase which any Swedish church in the land 
has had during this period. The value of the property 
amounts to nearly $800,000 in 1900, having doubled in a 
decade. There are about 310 congregations, grouped in a 
dozen conferences. Of these conferences the one in Minnesota 
is the largest, next in size comes the Illinois conference. 

The Danish-Norwegian Baptists in the United States are 
not numerous ; no attempt has been made to write their his- 
tory : consequently, facts in regard to them are not easily 
obtained. It appears that Hans Valder, who lived among 
the American Baptists at Indian Creek, 111., accepted the reli- 
gious views of his associates in 1842. He was licensed to 
preach, and in a couple of years about twenty Norwegians 
in La Salle and Kendall counties were immersed, consti- 


tuting a kind of society without being regularly organized. 
Valder was ordained in 1844, and for some time received a 
salary of $50 a year from the American Baptists and $13 
from his countrymen. He worked at manual labor part of 
the time, and was soon compelled to quit preaching alto- 
gether in order to support his family. The society was only 
a temporary affair, as most of its members seem to have 
moved to Iowa and Minnesota in the early fifties. It is 
claimed that the first regularly organized Danish-Norwegian 
Baptist church in this country came into existence at Ray- 
mond, Racine county. Wis., the 10th of November, 1856. 
Rev. L. Jorgensen, a Baptist from Denmark, who was sup- 
ported by the Americans, organized this church as well as 
several others. During the latter part of the fifties, some 
Danish Baptists settled at New Denmark, Brown county, 
Wis., among whom was Rev. P. H. Dam, who, under the 
auspices of the American Baptist Home Mission Society, 
began, in 1863, to organize congregations in eastern Wiscon- 
sin. But even where the cradle of the Danish-Norwegian 
Baptists stood, the progress of the work has been very slow, 
for in 1900 they had only about 1,000 communicant mem- 
bers in the whole state of Wisconsin. In 1880 the total 
number of congregations in this country was about 25,with 
1,700 communicants and twenty ministers. Today (1900) 
in the neighborhood of 5,000 persons belong to the 80 
Danish-Norwegian Baptist churches, grouped in seven con- 
ferences. The value of the property is about $110,000. 
Hardly more than one person out of 300 of the Danes and 
Norwegians in the United States is a Baptist. 

The Scandinavian Baptists in this country can hardly be 


said to exist as independent associations, because they co- 
operate in organic connection with the American Baptists, 
through whom all missionary work, home and foreign, is 
carried on. Yet the dozen Swedish Baptist conferences have 
united in forming the Swedish Baptist General Conference, 
which holds meetings once a 3'ear. The Danish-Norwegian 
Baptists have not effected a union of their different confer- 
ences. The general conference among the Swedes was organ- 
ized in 1879. It has no authority over the conferences or 
individual congregations composing the same, but is merely 
a union of the Swedish Baptists for the purpose of facilitat- 
ing the work, such as missions, Sunday school work, and 
the distribution of religious literature. Each congregation 
sends one or more delegates to the meeting of the general 
conference. The same close connection with the American 
Baptists is manifest in regard to the education of the young 
men who intend to become ministers. The Scandinavian 
Baptists in this country have, generally speaking, never 
operated a school of their own, but in 1871 Rev. J. A. Edgren, 
a brother to the learned linguist, Hjalmar Edgren, began to 
teach the Swedish students in the American Baptist theo- 
logical seminary, Chicago, and in 1881 Rev. N. P. Jensen, a 
Dane, became his assistant. In 1884 a regular Danish- 
Norwegian department was established in connection with 
the seminary. At the same time the Baptists in Denmark 
and Norway decided to have their candidates for the minis- 
try educated at this institution, and about thirty-five young 
men have during the last fifteen years come directly from 
those countries to pursue studies at the school. In 1884 
the Swedes had their own school in St. Paul, Minn., and then 

204b history of the Scandinavians in the u. s. 

for two or three years it was kept at Stromsburg, Neb. But 
in 1888 they again united with the American institution in 
Chicago. When the seminary, in 1892, became a part of the 
University of Chicago, regular Swedish and Danish-Norwe- 
gian departments were established in connection with the 
divinity school of this institution. From 1871 to 1900 
about 275 Swedish and 125 Danish-Norwegian students 
have pursued theological courses, only a part of them, how- 
ever, having completed their studies. In later years three 
Swedish professors and an equal number of Danish-Norwe- 
gian instructors are employed in the school, and the com- 
bined annual attendance averages about fifty in the two 
departments. Besides the attempt to prepare young men 
for the position of clergymen, several Scandinavian- Ameri- 
can Baptist newspapers and religious tracts are published in 
the interest of the work. 

Owing to the scarcity of historical docaments with reference to the Baptist work in 
the Scandinavian conutries, most of the facts were gleaned from the histories of O. W. 
Kerrey and T. Armitage, both American publications. In the second edition I have per 
sonally corrected all mistakes of facts that conld be detected ; but did not change the 
language of the article, except pages 201-4, which were rewritten by myself, and rerised 
by Rev. Frank Peterson. In making corrections and additions, official church reports 
haTemostly been relied upon, bat in a few case? I have consulted newspaper articles 
and Qt. W. ^chroeder'a history of the Swedish Baptists.— Edixob. 

Historical Review of the Swedish Evan- 
gelical Mission Covenant of America. 

— BY — 


In order to fully understand the origin, development, and 
history of the Swedish Evangelical Mission Covenant of 
America, it is at first necessary to glance at the religious 
condition in Sweden in the nineteenth century. In the first 
part of this century rationalism' swayed the religious 
thought of the majority of the Swedish clergy. Many of the 
ministers in the Lutheran state church were negligent, 
and spiritual life had in most cases been supplanted by stale 
forms. In 1842, a pious but uneducated peasant, Eric Jan- 
son, commenced to hold devotional meetings in Helsingland, 
in the northern part of Sweden. About the same time Rev. 
George Scott, an English Methodist minister, began to 
preach in Stockholm, and shortly after the Baptists com- 
menced to introduce their faith around Gothenburg. 

All these movements were more or less hostile towards 
the Lutheran state church of Sweden, and the majority of 

1 Prof. G. O. Brohaugh's history of the Hauge*s Synod, -which commences on 
page 173 in this volume, contains a discussion on rationalism in Europe in gen- 
eral, and in Norway in particular, -which, no doubt, applies to the Swedish clergy 
as -well.— [Editor. (211) 


ous movement at that time became intense and swept 
over parts of the kingdom with the strength of a tornado. 
In Helsingland the Jansonites, who in their style of delivery 
and mode of teaching and exhortation resembled the Metho- 
dists, publicly burned all the religious books, except the 
Bible. For this great excitement and fanaticism Scott was not 
responsible ; yet the opposition, in their passion and hatred, 
drove him by force, at the risk of his life, from Sweden in 

In 1825 O. G. Hedstrom, a Swede, landed in New York. 
He was converted to Methodism, and for some time preached 
for American congregations. But when the Scandinavian 
emigrants, in the early forties, commenced to arrive in New^ 
York by the hundreds and thousands, annually, he attended 
almost exclusively to their spiritual wants. He was the 
founder of the Swedish Methodism in America, and to a cer- 
tain extent, also, of the Norwegian-Danish, for in 1847, 0. P. 
Peterson, a Norwegian, was converted to that faith by him. 
Peterson visited his native country two years later, and for the 
first time, introduced Methodism into Norway. He returned 
to America in 1850, and the following year began missionary 
work among his countrymen in the Northwest. Chr. B. Wil- 
lerup, a Dane, was the first who introduced Methodism 
among the Nowegian-Danish people in this country, in 1850; 
for five years he preached for the Norwegian pioneers in Wis_ 
consin. It is a notable fact that although the emigration 
from Norway preceded the Swedish by ten or fifteen years, 
yet the Metliodistic missionary work among the former immi- 
grants began five years later, at least, than ij did among the 


As a general thing the Methodists are noted for their 
earnestness and strong religious convictions. The early 
Scandinavian-American Methodists, although most of them 
were uneducated, were not slow in appealing to their Ameri- 
can brethren for aid in carrying on missionary work in their 
native lands. The Americans, with their usual sympathy 
and liberality, granted their request.* In 1855 Willerup was 
sent as superintendent of the work in the Northern countries, 
which commenced at once in Norway, shortly after in Den- 
mark, but not in Sweden until 1865. Soon a few other 
Scandinavian- American missionaries followed him; yet it was 
not until V. Witting was appointed superintendent of 
Sweden, in 1868, that the work progressed in that kingdom. 
After the severity of the religious laws had been relaxed — 
which was done in Sweden in 1873, and in Denmark and 
Norway a little earlier — Methodism spread rapidly over the 
Northern countries. In 1876 conferences were organized, 
both in Sweden and Norway, but the work in Denmark has 
progressed very slowly, until recent years. According to the 
report of the Methodist Episcopal Church for the year ending 
1899, there were about 16,000 members in Sweden, 5,800 in 
Norway, and 3,200 in Denmark, or totally 25,000, distri- 
buted among a population of about nine and a half million 
people. Each country has a small theological school. The 
value of the church property in all the Northern countries 
amounts to nearly $800,000. 

The Methodists from the North have done their full share 
in developing the material resources of the country and at- 
tending to the religious, social, and moral uplifting of their 
countrymen in the New World. They are, perhaps, the most 

* According to the annual reports of the Missionary Society of the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church, said organizatioa has paid out over two and a half million dollars during 
the past forty years for missionary work among the Scandinavians. One miUion dollars 
has been devoted to the Scandinavians in this country ; the balance of the sum has be«a 
spent in the North.— Editob. 


ardent temperance workers of any of the Scandinavian- 
American religious organizations. Even their opponents ad- 
mit that the two Hedstrom brothers in many ways assisted 
the immigrants and directed the whole Scandinavian move- 
ment toward the Northwest. 

From the Atlantic to the Pacific, from the GreatLakesto 
the Gulf of Mexico, where any Scandinavians are to be found, 
there are also Scandinavian Methodist churches. As a gen- 
eral thing the Swedes, Norwegians, and Danes, in a new set- 
tlement, unite and erect a common church, where they all 
worship God together ; the dififerences in their languages be- 
ing so small that they easily understand each other. But as 
the membership increases they usually divide into Swedish, 
and Norwegian-Danish congregations. A Norwegian- Ameri- 
can historian says : "The Scandinavian Methodist Church 
in America is not a unity, not any undivided whole. It is 
made up of two separate branches, vis., the Swedish and the 
Norwegian-Danish." Yet, in nearly all the new and smaller 
localities, the two branches generally have churches in com- 

In 1877 the Northwestern Swedish Methodist Confer- 
ence was organized, and in 1892 it was agreed to divide said 
organization into three conferences. The Norwegian-Danish 
Methodist Conference was organized in 1880. Each confer- 
ence is divided into districts, each district is presided over by 
an elder. An American bishop is chairman at the annual 
conferences. In fact, the Scandinavian Methodists are closely 
connected with their American brethren. In the Eastern and 
Western states the Scandinavian congregations belong to 
American conferences. 


Not including those who belong to purely American con- 
gregations, there are about 16,000 Swedish Methodists in 
this country in 1900, and 8,000 Norwegian-Danish. Not one 
person out of every 300 is a Methodist in Sw^eden, vsrhile over 
one out of every 100 Swedes in this country belong to this 
organization. In proportion to the population there are 
more than twice as many Norwegians in America who are 
Methodists as there are in Norway. The Swedish Methodists 
in this country have about 170 churches, valued at $800,000 ; 
the Norwegian-Danish have 115 churches, valued at $330,- 
000. This valuation of the church property does not, how- 
ever, include the parsonages, which may be estimated to be 
worth $130,000 and $70,000, respectively. 

Several newspapers are published in the interest of the 
w^ork, Sa,ndebudet being the Swedish church organ, and 
Den Cbristelige Talsmand the Norwegian-Danish. There 
are two Methodist theological departments connected with 
the Northwestern University at Evanston, 111., one Swedish, 
and one Norwegian-Danish, where young men are prepared 
for the ministry. 

Some of the assertions in the first parafirraph of this article are evidently based upon 
weak and questionable evidence. To alfirm that Pro Fide et Christianismo was 
organized npon the advice of Wesley, thereby indicating that he was the originator of 
the foudamental principles of said society, does not appear to coincide with the actual 
facts. The society in Stockholm was modelled after the Society For Promoting Chris- 
tian Knowledge, the oldest and one of the grcateat associations connected with tho 
Church of England, which was founded in 1698, five years before the birth of Wesley. All 
the Swedish Methodist historians on both sides of the Atlantic, and perhaps some 
others, seem to have misinterpreted the position of Dr. Wrangel, even going so far as to 
call him a. de facto Methodist. For example, T. M. Erikson, in his history of Metho- 
dism in Sweden, styles Wrangel "thepioneer of Methodism in Philadelphia," and asserts 
that at his death the influence of that sect ceased in Sweden, at least for a time. The 
same sentiments are expr; ssed ly the authors of the semi-official history of Swedish 
Methodism in this country, Th::se writers assume that because C. M. Wrangel was a 
pietist, a friend and admirer of Wesley and his work, therefore the former must have 
accepted the religious views of the latter and become a converted Methodist. But 
would not the following syllogism he equally correct : John Wesley, being a pious man 


and friendly towards Wrangel and his work, therefore the former must have accepted 
the faith of the latter and become a good Lutheran? The relation between these two 
men, as far as religious co-operation is concerned, appears to be as follows: Wesley 
endeavored to reform the abuses, real or supposed, of the Episcopal Church of England 
—with which he never severed his connection, Wrangel, being a progressive man, 
sympathized with all movements of this nature, and on his return from the United 
States visited Wesley, Oct, 14, 1768, and requested him to send some piously inclined 
persons thither to preach the Gospel, which was granted. Considering the need of 
devout instructors in America and the friendly relation existing between the churches 
of Sweden and England, such request was very natural, especially as separation from 
the state organizations had not at that time become a general practice. Afterwards 
they corresponded with each other. But not a single letter or document has been pro- 
duced to indicate that the socle fcy in Stockholm was the result of Wesley's advice, or 
that Wrangel had become a Methodist. It may be that Wrangel was influenced by 
Methodism, but so was also Wesley by the teachings of Luther; for, according to Wes- 
ley's own assertion, quoted in "Johnson's Cyclopedia," he became converted through 
the writings of the German reformer. 

The opposition to Rev. George Scott was not so much against his Methodism as 
against hia ingratitude. At first he had been exceptionally well received in Stockholm, 
some of the Lutheran clergymen even assisting him In his missionary efforts. But dur- 
iag a journey in the United States, in 1841, he had several times severely criticized the 
morals and religion of the Swedes, who resented this by driving him out of the city. 

The following are some of the authorities which have been consulted in regard to the 
above note, or notes: "International" and "Chambers's" cyclopeedias, "Nordisk Famil- 
jebok," C. A. Cornelius's "Svenska Kyrkans Historia efter Reformationen," "Wesley's 
Journal," T, M. Eriksou's "Metodismen i Sverige," and "Svenska Metodismen i 
Amerika . ' '— Ed iToa. 

Historical Keview of the Swedish Evan- 
gelical Mission Covenant of America. 

— BY — 

REV. B. A., skoqsbergh:. 

In order to fullyunderstand the origin, development, and 
history of the Swedish Evangelical Mission Covenant of 
America, it is at first necessary to glance at the religious 
condition in Sweden in the nineteenth century. In the first 
part of this century rationalism^ swayed the religious 
thought of the majority of the Swedish clergy. Many of the 
ministers in the Lutheran state church were negligent, 
and spiritual life had in most cases been supplanted by stale 
forms. In 1842, a pious but uneducated peasant, Eric Jan- 
son, commenced to hold devotional meetings in Helsingland, 
in the northern part of Sweden. About the same time Rev. 
George Scott, an English Methodist minister, began to 
preach in Stockholm, and shortly after the Baptists com- 
menced to introduce their faith around Gothenburg. 

All these movements were more or less hostile towards 
the Lutheran state church of Sweden, and the majority of 

1 Prof. G. O. Brohatigh's history of the Hauge's Synod, "which comtnences on 
page 173 in this volume, contains a discussion on rationalism in Europe in gen- 
eral, and in Norway in particular, which, no doubt, applies to the Swedish clergy 
as well.— [Editor. (211) 


the clergy naturally resisted any and all encroachments upon 
their field. They had also the civil law on their side. For, 
ever since the introduction of Lutheranism into Sweden in the 
earlypart of the sixteenth century,it had been, and still was, 
unlawful to worship God in any other form than in accord- 
ance with the rites of the established church ; nor could re- 
ligious meetings be legally conducted by other persons than 
the regular clergy. That such a law could exist among such 
an intelligent and free people as the Swedes is mainly due to 
the fact that shortly after the teachings of the great German 
reformer had become their national religion, strenuous efforts 
were made to re-establish the Catholic faith among them. 
To protect the Swedish people from relapsing into Catholi- 
cism, the government made it a criminal offense to teach 
or preach any doctrine except the Lutheran. But the Swedes 
have always been such devoted Lutherans that for centu- 
ries there was little occasion to apply the severe religious 
laws ; nor, perhaps, would they have been applied now, if it 
had not been for the unwise, not to say fanatical, procedure 
of some of the dissenters themselves. In Helsingland, for ex- 
ample, the Jansonites publicly burned all religious books ex- 
cept the Bible. Janson vv-as arrested, imprisoned, and 
escaped to America in 1846, where he became the founder of 
the well-known Bishop Hill Colony, in Illinois ; Scott was 
mobbed in 1842, the Baptist leader banished from the king- 
dom in 1851, and more than one of the separatists and re- 
vivalists had to suffer longer or shorter imprisonment. It 
was not until 1873 that the harsh religious laws were abol- 
ished in Sweden. 

The persecution, however, did not have the desired effect. 


Yet, as has been stated before, the Swedes have always been, 
and are, very devoted Lutherans. Any other form of wor- 
ship finds little favor with them, consequently the Metho- 
dists, the Baptists, and all other dissenters from the estab- 
lished Lutheran church, have, on the whole, not been verj- 
successful; while the Mission movement within the state 
church itself has exercised a great influence. 

This movement, which began about 1840-50, was a 
spiritual awakening within the Lutheran church. It sprang, 
as has often been the case in all ages and in all countries in 
regard to religious and social reforms, from the lower stratum 
of society. The regular clergy and upper circles generally 
kept aloof, often opposed the whole movement. It was the 
laymen who commenced to read and interpret the Bible for 
themselves. It was a continuation amongthe Swedes of the 
spiritual aw^akening which had been originated in Norway 
by Hans Nilsen Hauge half a century before. It was the 
strong individuality of the Northmen, who had drenched in 
blood the classical civilization of Rome and western European 
Christendom, and sealed with their blood on the battlefield 
of Liitzen the cause of Reformation, that in religious mat- 
ters asserted their rights as freemen. 

In the middle of this century FosterlandsstiRelsen w^as 
organized in Sweden by C. 0. Rosenius and others. Rosenius 
had previously co-operated with George Scott, and had con- 
ducted revival meetings in different parts of the kingdom. 
He was also editor of Pietisten, a religious paper which has 
to this day exercised quite an influence in religious matters. 
The object of Fosterlandsstiftelsen, which was composed 
mostly of laymen although a few of the regular Lutheran 


clergymen also belonged, was to conduct a religious revival 
movement within the state church. For this purpose piously 
inclined laymen were sent to every part of the realm, where 
they held religious meetings among the farmers and labor- 
ing people, and distributed devotional literature. These 
meetings resembled very much an ordinary Pietistic 
prayer meeting, and were called Liksaremoten (Reading- 
meetings) or Missionsmoten (Missionmeetings) ; those 
who participated w^ere at first called Lasare (Readers), 
later MissionsveLZiner {Mission Friends). After a while, 
however. Dr. P. Waldenstrom — an ordained Lutheran min- 
ister and professor in one of the colleges of Sweden, who, 
after the death of Rosenius, had become the leader of the 
Mission movement, and is now well-known as a preacher 
and author, having also for a number of years been a mem- 
ber of the Swedish Parliament — withdrew from Foster- 
landsatiftelsen. In 1878 he together with others organ- 
ized Srenska Misaionsfbrbundet, an independent organ- 
ization, which a large proportion of the Mission Friends 
joined. Others remained with Fosterlandastiftelsen. The 
former society has, in 1900, about 100,000 members, sup- 
ports a theological seminary, and conducts missionary 
work in foreign countries. 

Although several Mission Friends had emigrated before 
1868, it was not until that year that C. O. Bjork and J. M. 
Sanngren began at Swede Bend, Boone county, Iowa, and in 
Chicago, respectively, to gather together the Mission folks. 
At the former place an organization may be said to have been 
effected July 4, 1868, which was the first society of its 
kind in America; but similar societies in a short time sprang 


up in dififerent parts of the country. The ministers and lay- 
men of some of these churches met at Keokuk, Iowa, in 1873, 
and organized the Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Mission 
Synod, of which Sanngren became president. A similar or- 
ganization, The Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Ansgary 
Synod, was eifected in 1874; Prof. C. Anderson being the 
chief promoter. Both these synods called themselves Luther- 
an, and their constitutions contained the Augsburg Confes- 
sion ; yet the tendency of Dr. P. Waldenstrom was the pre- 
dominent feature. As is well known Waldenstrom differed 
from the Lutheran Church in regard to the doctrine of atone- 
ment, mode of worship, and church government. For 
awhile they both prospered. The Ansgary Synod started a 
school in Knoxville, 111. In 1876-77 the Mission Synod, 
which was the truest specimen of the Mission movement in 
Sweden, received great accession in membership. In 1884-85, 
however, they both ceased to exist. ^ At the dissolution each 
of them numbered about 35 ministers and 4,000 members. 

In 1885 several of those who had formerly been connected 
with the Ansgary and Mission synods organized the Swed- 
ish Evangelical Mission Covenant of America. This organi- 
zation has — like the Svenska Missionsforbundet in Sweden, 
which it resembles in name, religious belief and practice, and 
government, although they are not officially connected — no 
formulated creed ; the Bible being the only authority. Each 
congregation manages completely its own affairs, resembling 

1 It is claimed that the dissolution -was partly caused by the fact that most of 
the tnembers of the two synods objected to requiring people to subscribe to the 
Augsburg Confession before they could become members of the congregations. — 


in this respect the Congregationalists.^ The different con- 
gregations do not allow any person to join them except 
those who confess that they are converted and are willing 
to live a Christian life, resembling in this respect, as well 
as in mode of worship, the Methodists. According to the 
statistics of the year ending 1899, the Swedish Evangelical 
Mission Covenant of America has about 135 congregations, 
12,000 communicants, and church property valued at $500,- 
000; but there are at least twice as many Swedish Mission 
Friends in this country, who have independent church socie- 
ties not officially connected with the Covenant. The organi- 
zation has had a school of their own since 1891, supports 
missions in China and Alaska, and several papers are pub- 
lished in the interest of the work. 

1 In fact the Swedish Missioti Friends in this country had, for a couple 
of 3'ears, a school in Chicago in connection with the Congregational theological 
seminary; and many of the ministers claim to be Congregationalists, being admit- 
ted and considered as such at the yearly meetings of that organization. — [Editor. 

Historical Review of the Swedish Lu- 
theran Augustana Synod. 


In 1638 the Swedes founded a colony on the banks of 
Delaware River. The same year these colonists erected, where 
Philadelphia now stands, the first Lutheran church buildinof 
in America. Ever since, Swedish immigrants have settled in 
this country, but up to the year 1840 they were few and 
came at irregular intervals, and both religiously and socially 
became completely intermixed with other nationalities. 
Prom this time on immigration became regular, but it was 
not heavy, nor was its direction definite till about 1850, 
when it assumed immense proportions, and poured in a 
steady stream into the states and territories of the North- 
west. During this early period, when the life of the immi- 
grants was chieflj^ migratory, religious aifairs were naturally 
in a similar unorganized and unsettled condition. 

In 1850 Prof. L. P. Esbjorn, the father of the Swedish- 
American Lutheran church, organized congregations at 
Andover, Moline, and Galesburg, 111. But two years previ- 



ous a Swedish Lutheran church had been organized at New 
Sweden, Iowa.* On Sept. 18, 1851, The Synod of Northern 
Illinois was organized, which shortlj' afterwards effected a 
connection with the General Synod. Esbjom and some Nor- 
wegians had been invited to unite their congregations in 
forming the new body. They accepted. But Esbjorn, who 
was sent by the Swedes as one of their delegates, did not 
reach Cedarville, 111., where the conference was held, until 
Sept. 19th, when the constitution had already been adopted. 
Most of the American members believed in the New-Lather- 
aiiism, a less strict Lutheranism, which accepted the Altered 
Ausburg Confession. The constitution of the Synod of North- 
em Illinois contained the following sentence in regard to 
faith: "This synod regards the Word of God as the only 
infallible rule of faith and practice, and the Augsburg Con- 
fession as containing a summary of the fundamental doc- 
trines of the Christian religion, mainly correct." Esbjom 
was no disciple of the New-Lutheranism, but he believed in 
union, thinking that people holding different view^s in relig- 
ious matters could co-operate together in Christian fellow- 
ship. He joined, but insisted on having a reservation for 
himself and his congregations in the records in regard to the 
article of faith, which was granted. In a short time many 
Scandinavian immigrants and some ministers arrived, who 
organized churches in different parts of the country, and Es- 
bjorn became the Scandinavian professor at the seminary 
of the Northern Illinois Synod, in Springfield, 1858. It had 
been deemed necessary, in order to attend to the religious 
needs of the Scandinavians to educate in this country men of 
their own nationalities, as a sufficient number of clergymen 

*For a more detailed discussion of this church, see Rev. M. F. Hokanson's >iiography 
in Ynl. II, p. 21S.— Editoh. 


could not be secured from home.^ But Esbjorn could not 
agree with the president of the seminary, who adhered to the 
New-Lutheranism, and in 1860 he resigned his position. In 
order to carrj' on the work among the many arriving im- 
migrants, the Scandinavians had special conferences, namely : 
The Chicago conference which v/as composed of Swedes and 
Norwegians ; the Mississippi conference, Swedes ; and the 
Minnesota conference, mostly Swedes. 

On account of the existing difference in view^s in regard 
to the Augsburg Confession, and also owing to differences 
in language between the various elements composing the 
Northern Illinois Synod, the Swedes and Norwegians met, in 
the month of April, 1860, in Chicago, for the purpose of es- 
tablishing a new sj'nod. As a result of this meeting, what is 
now called the Swedish Lutheran Augustaiia Synod w^as or- 
ganized, June 5, 1860, at a meeting on Jefferson Prairie, Wis. 
Dr. T. N. Hasselquist was elected as the first president, and 
served for several years in that office. The name Augustana. 
was adopted at the instance of Dr. E. Norelius. At this meet- 
ing 49 congregations were represented by 27 ministers and 
15 lay-delegates. These were, of course, not all Swedes, some 
were Norwegians, and the meeting was held in a Norwegian 
church at Jefferson Prairie, near Clinton, Wis. Swedes and 
Norwegians were united in one synod, and hence the original 
and incorporated name of the organization was the Scandi- 

llt should be observed that althougli several ordained Lutheran clergymen 
from Sweden have, during the whole immigration period, settled in this country 
and become pastors of Swedish-American Lutheran churches, yet the Swedish 
Lutherans in America and Sweden have not been, nor are, officially connected with 
each other. But the Augustana Synod and the Lutheran church in Sweden have 
always been on the most friendly terms. The synod considers herself as a daughter 
of the mother church in Sweden, and is so regarded by her.— [Editor 


navian Evangelical Lutheran Augustana Synod of North 
America; it was not until 1894 that the word "Scandinavian" 
was dropped. According to their own statistics of 1860, 49 
congregations, with 4,967 communicants, and 27 clergymen 
united to form the Scandinavian Synod. Of these, 17 clergy- 
men, 36 congregations, and 3,747 communicants were 
Swedes. The union of the Swedes and Norwegians continued 
until 1870, when the latter, on account of the difference in 
thelanguages, withdrew and organized themselves into a sep- 
arate organization. This was considered a wise movement, 
and since that time a strong and zealous work has been car- 
ried on by the different Scandinavian Lutherans. The Augus- 
tana Synod has been a member of the General Council of the 
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America^ from the beginning 
of the Council, which met in its first regular convention at 
Fort Wayne, Ind., Nov. 20-26, 1867. It is at present one of 
the largest synods belonging to the Council. 

From the very beginning the Swedish Lutherans have 
taken great interest in educational work. Every congrega- 
tion within the Augustana Synod endeavors to maintain 
good parochial schools and energetic Sunday schools. Higher 
education has received a hearty support, and the success and 
progress of the Augustana Synod in this country must be 
said to have depended in no little degree upon the early and 
great enthusiasm toward higher education, which made 
itself manifest among the Swedes. No sooner had the vener- 
able" fathers " of our synod, such men as Prof. L. P. Esbjorn, 

2 The General Council, like the General Synod and similar organizations, is com- 
posed of several Lutheran synods which have united for the purpose of advising 
each other. The Council has no authority over the synods, congregations, or indi- 
viduals. — [Editor. 


Dr. T. N. Hasselquist, Dr. E. Carlson, Rev. Jonas Swenson, 
Dr. E. Norelius, etc., begun their church work, than they 
began to work for the establishment of colleges and schools. 
The people in the churches were ready and quick to respond. 
In 1860 the oldest and largest of the Swedish-American col- 
leges, Augustana College and Theological Seminary, was 
founded at Chicago; moved to Paxton, 111., in 1863, and 
permanently located at Rock Island, the same state, in 1875. 
In 18&2 Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, Minn., was 
founded. Bethany College, Lindsborg, Kan., was founded in 
1881. Since then several academies have been organized, 
namely: Luther Academy, Wahoo, Neb; Hope Academy, 
Moorhead, Minn. ; Emanuel Academy, Minneapolis, Minn.; 
and in 1893 two more were organized, namely, Martin 
Luther College, in Chicago, 111., and Upsala College, in 
Brooklyn, N. Y. All these institutions are annually attended 
by 1,500 students, have had a remarkable progress, and have 
developed themselves in all directions. The [property of 
these different institutions is estimated to be worth about 
$500,000. They have been a source of great blessing and in- 
fluence to the members of the Augustana Synod. The great- 
est number of the 450 ministers of the synod and many of 
the school teachers have received their training attheseinsti- 
tutions. Augustana College and Theological Seminary, how- 
ever, is the only college where a full theological training is 
given; it is also the only college dii-ectly controlled by the Au- 
gustana Synod. The other schools are managed, either by 
some conference within the synod, or byprivate corporations 
composed of Swedish Lutherans. 

In the work of education the synod has realized the 


power and influence of the press. Dr. T. N. Hasselquist 
started in 1855 the first Swedish newspaper in America, a 
religious w^eekly, now called Augustana, which is today the 
largest Swedish weekly church-paper in the world. The 
synod publishes also Sunday school papers in the Swedish 
and English languages. The English papers published by the 
synod proves that the Augustana Synod is a'wake on the 
question of language. The Augustana Synod in America 
does not expect always to use the Swedish language. The 
time w^ill come when the English language will be commonly 
used in our churches, and even now most of the young men 
who enter the ministry have received such an education that 
they are able to preach in English as well as in Swedish. 
The aim of the synod is, therefore, to furnish the people with 
English preachers and Lutheran literature in English. The 
Lutheran Augustana Book Concern at Rock Island, under 
the supervision of the synod, is doing a grand and noble 
work in sending forth good Lutheran literature in the Swed- 
ish and English languages. 

In 1860 the first' Swedish Lutheran orphans' home in 
America was established by Dr. E. Norelius, in Vasa, Good- 
hue county, Minn. At present the sj-^nod supports six orph- 
ans' homes and three hospitals. The value of the property 
of these institutions is put at $350,000. At the orphans' 
homes 300 orphans are supported and educated annuallj-. 
A deaconess institute is also maintained at Omaha, Neb. 

The synod is at present divided into eight conferences, 
viz.: The Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa, Kansas, New York, 
Nebraska, California, and Columbia. Each conference car- 
ries on its special misssion work within its ow^n territory. 


The missionary work in territories outside the conferences is 
carried on by the synod through its general board of mis- 
sions. At present this board superintends the mission work 
in Utah, gives aid to churches in Florida, Maine, and on the 
Pacific Coast. The Church Extension Society has been organ- 
ized within the synod, the duty of which is to assist small 
and weak congregations in building churches. The aim of 
the mission has been to gather the thousands of Swedes in 
this country around the Word of God ; with this object in view, 
many large congregations have, during the 50 years past, 
been organized and maintained. The synod also supports a 
special immigrant mission in New York City. In Chicago 
the immigrant mission is carried on by the Illinois con- 

Since the organization of the synod numerous churches have 
been organized so that Augustana Synod churches are today 
to be found in almost every state and territory w^ithin the 
United States and in different parts of Canada. The synod, 
according to the statistics of the year ending 1899, numbers 
about 900 congregations, with 200,000 members, of which 
115,000 are communicant members. The value of thechurch 
property ow^ned by these churches is by a moderate estimate 
considered to be $4,200,000, and it may safely be said that 
during the past 40 years the people of the Augustana Synod 
have used no less than $12,000,000 in building and support- 
ing churches and carrying on missionary work. Adding then 
thereto the amounts raised for schools, colleges, the theologi- 
cal seminary, orphans' homes, and hospitals, it becomes clear 
to every unbiased observer that the Augustana Synod has 
shown itself as an active and wide awake institution, well 


deserving the confidence of the Swedes in America and the 
love of all Christian people. 

The synod has always without fear and with fervent de- 
votion defended the pure Lutheranism in theory and prac- 
tice, planted itself on the foundation of a pure Gospel as set 
forth in the Unaltered Augsburg Confession, has carefully 
guarded the pulpit and the altar, has taken a firm stand 
against secret societies and questionable practises, and has 
as a result, without doubt, made some enemies ; yet, by the 
blessing of God, the synod has carried on a noble and success- 
ful work and is today, by far, the leading and most influen- 
tial religious body among the Swedes of America. 

The history of the Augustana Synod during the past 
forty years shows what can be done by a united effort. 
The Swedish Lutherans have been a unit from the beginning. 
No strifes and contentions of any serious nature have existed 
among the people. The members of the synod have been 
surrounded by God's favor and united in a true faith, zeal- 
ously doing their work with a sacrificing love. The synod 
has had a glorious past but it expects a more glorious future. 
Long live the Augustana Synod ! 

Historical Review of tlie United Norwegian 
Lutlieran Cliurcli of America. 

—BY — 


The higlier unity of soul and spirit did not exist among 
the Norwegian Lutherans at the time the immigration to 
America commenced, a fact for which we have the best evi- 
dence in the movement originated by Hauge. The church of 
Norway was itself in the throes of a bitter conflict between 
two widely different tendencies, which, when they were 
transferred to American soil, only assumed more definite 
shape and expression. These tendencies merit a brief atten- 
tion, since they have had such marked effects upon the reli- 
gious life of the Norwegian people in America. 

Hans Nilsen Hauge was a poor, but talented and pious 
country lad, springing from the yeomanry of Norway. 
Through pure reHgious zeal he began to preach to the people 
of the neighborhood, not any new doctrine, but the teach- 
ings of the state church. His voice was raised against the 
godlessness and unbelief which had seized both clergy and 



lay people by the introduction of rationalism. He de- 
nounced the worldliness and extravagance of the ministers 
of the state church, and urged the people to repent. A re- 
vival movement sprang up, which soon spread over the en- 
tire country. A strong religious zeal, which was often mis- 
taken for fanaticism, characterized the followers of Hauge. 
They forbade the wearing of any ornaments. Even works 
of art in the home were classed among the vanities. They 
held that any one who felt an inner calling had a right to 
preach, without any regulation or interference by thechurch. 
In severity of life, as well as in religious practice, they much 
resembled the Puritans in England. Even after a reaction 
against rationalism had begun in the state church, and the 
ministers within it were characterized by zeal and devotion 
in Christian life, as well as by purity of doctrine, this move- 
ment went on. The state church, however, which looked 
upon the movement as a revolt against its authority, now 
tried to put a stop to it. Hauge was imprisoned and his fol- 
lowers suffered many hardships. But this procedure only 
increased the bitterness of the struggle and put new hin- 
drances in the way of understanding and reconciliation. 
"When the two parties met on American soil, where there was 
no compulsion or pressure, the chasm which divided them 
merely widened. EUing Eielsen, who arrived in this country 
in 1839, was the first preacher of the Gospel to the Norwe- 
gian settlers. Eielsen was a faithful disciple of Hauge, and 
already in 1846 he and his followers organized what they 
called The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the first 
church organization among the Norwegians in this country. 
As emigration continued to increase, several ordained minis- 


ters came over. They attempted to come to an understand- 
ing with Elling, and several meetings were held for the pur- 
pose, but no results could be reached. The old differences 
soon made themselves manifest. The entirely different views 
in regard to church life, as well as to internal and external 
church organization, represented by the two parties, made it 
impossible for them to come to an agreement. Moreover, 
the differences in education, in mode of life, and in general 
training of the representatives of the two tendencies, also laid 
hindrances in the way, as they found it difficult, much on 
that account, to really understand and appreciate even each 
others better qualities. Union was, of course, impossible. 
The ministers who came from Norway then organized the 
Norwegian Lutheran Synod in 1853. 

But everything did not work smoothly in the Evangel- 
ical Lutheran Church in America, established by Elling Eiel- 
sen and his followers. Elling conspicuously lacked all talents 
of an organizer. The constitution which they had adopted 
was deficient in many important respects, so that there 
w^as often no real connection between the congregations. 
Dissatisfaction with the condition of things was general, and 
Elling, who was pre-eminently an evangelist, was unable to 
remedy it. Consequently the clergymen, Paul Anderson and 
Ole Andrewson,left Elling's church and effected a temporary 
union with the Frankean Lutheran Synodof New York, until 
a Norwegian synod could be organized in the West. After a 
short time these ministers again left the Frankean Synod and 
joined the Northern Illinois Synod with which they were con- 
nected till 1860. To this synod belonged also a number of 
Swedish ministers and congregations. On the 5th of June 


of the last named year the clergymen, Paul Anderson, 
Ole Andrewson, 0. J. Hatlestad, and others, Norwegians; 
and Hasselquist, Carlson, Esbjorn, and others, Swedes, met 
on Jefferson Prairie to consider the organization of a Scandi- 
navian synod. The Scandinavian ministers and congrega- 
tions in the Northern Illinois Synod now left that church 
and organized the Scandinavian Evangelical Lutheran Au- 
gustana Synod, consisting of both Swedish and Norwegian 
ministers and congregations. According to their own statis- 
tics of 1861, 60 congregations, with 5,600 communicant 
members, and 32 clergymen belonged to the new body. 
Of these, 11 clergymen, 17 congregations, and 1,400 com- 
municants were Norwegians. The synod erected a school 
for educating young men for the ministry, at Paxton, 111. 
This school, which consisted of both a theological and a col- 
legiate department, had for some time only two professors, 
and was financially largely supported by the people of Swe- 
den. The synod grew rapidly, and it was found necessary to 
have a Norwegian professor at Paxton. A call was extended 
to Rev. A. Weenaas, of Norway, who accepted, and entered 
upon his duties as professor of theology in the seminary at 
Paxton in 1868. Weenaas, however, soon grew dissatisfied 
with his new surroundings and urged upon the Norwegians 
to erect a school of their own. In 1869 the Norwegian wing 
of the Scandinavian Lutheran Augustana Synod, following 
the wish of Prof. Weenaas, bought a school building at Mar- 
shal, Wis., where work was begun in the fall, with Prof. 
Weenaas as president, and the Norwegian students who now 
moved thither from Paxton. 
The difference in language had always been a serious 


diiEculty within the synod, and in 1870 it w^as thought 
best, on account of this difficulty, for the Norwegians and 
Swedes to separate. The Norwegians then withdrew and 
organized the Norwegian-Danish Augustana Synod, while the 
Swedish branch of the old synod continued under the old 
name. The two organizations, however, were on the friend- 
liest of terms, and promised to co-operate and aid each other 
as far as possible. Shortly after the Norwegian-Danish Au- 
gustana Synod was organized, certain leading professors 
and ministers within it began to negotiate a union with Rev. 
C. L. Clausen, who a few j'ears previous, with the congre- 
gations in his charge, had left the Norwegian Synod, because 
of the controversy regarding slavery, or the condition of life 
servitude. In order to effect this union with Clausen, and 
his, at that time, quite large congregations, a few ministers 
and lay delegates at a meeting in St. Ansgar, Iowa, resolved, 
without asking the congregations, to dissolve the Norwe- 
gian-Danish Augustana Synod and reorganize it under a new- 
name. A new organization was effected, called The Norwe- 
gian-Danish Evangelical Lutheran Conference, of which Rev. 
C. L. Clausen was elected president. But this action was 
not favorably received by all the people of the Norwegian- 
Danish Augustana Synod. At a church meeting on Jefferson 
Prairie in the fall of the same year the synod declared the St. 
Ansgar resolutions null and void. This led to a division of 
the synod ; about half of the congregations and their minis- 
ters leaving it and joining the Conference. Among those who 
thus seceded from the Augustana Synod was also Prof. 
Weenaas, of the seminary at Marshall, together with a ma- 
jority of the students. This was a hard blow to the Augus- 


tana Synod. There was a heavy debt on the school build- 
ing ; Prof. Weenaas and the students were gone, besides so 
many of the congregations whose financial aid had been 
counted on. The school at Marshall was now^ able to con- 
tinue work only in the academic department. This, however, 
w^as of no direct benefit to the synod, and involved consider- 
able expense ; consequently attempts were again made to 
put the school into condition for educating ministers. Rev. 
D. Lysnes w^as chosen professor and president, and w^ith his 
arrival a new epoch began in the history of the school. The 
theological department again resumed its work ; the number 
of students increased rapidly, and the debt on the school 
buildings was paid. In 1881 the school was moved to Beloit, 
lowa.w^here 20 acres of land and commodious buildings had 
been secured. The college department was afterward moved 
to Canton, S. D., where buildings to the amount of $8,000 
were provided. The growth of the synod, however, owing 
to repeated discouragements, continued to be slow. Accord- 
ing to statistics it comprised, in 1887, 30 ministers, 90 con- 
gregations, and 3,500 communicant members. 

After the organization of the Conference the school at 
Marshall w^as divided, so that the Conference got the theo- 
logical department, and the Augustana Synod retained the 
academic department. The theological department was re- 
organized by the Conference in 1871 into what is now Augs- 
burg Seminary, of which Prof. Weenaas became president. It 
was moved to Minneapolis, Minn., in 1872. The following 
year Sven Oftedal, from Norway, became professor at the 
seminary, and in 1874 Georg Sverdrup, who two years later 
became its president, arrived. The whole subsequent history 


of the institution is closely connected with the energetic ef- 
forts of these two men. The seminary was badly in debt till 
1877, when Prof Oftedal organized committees throughout 
the congregations of the Conference, who by personal solici- 
tations raised the sum of $18,000, which was more than 
enough to liquidate the existing debt. The seminary has 
been constantly growing, in extent and thoroughness of the 
courses of study, as well as in numerical strength. The course 
of study for ministers is no-w five years preparatory work, 
and three years theological training. In 1891 the seminary 
had 10 professors and instructors, and 188 students in at- 
tendance. The property, including, besides the seminary build- 
ings, also a dormitory and professor's residence, and the 
block on w^hich they stand, is valued at $150,000. The Con- 
ference w^as, undoubtedly, better financially situated than any 
of the other Norwegian Lutheran bodies. It was without 
debts, and had large funds at its disposal. It enjoyed a 
steady growth, and exhibited a remarkable vigor in church 
life. According to statistics the Conference had, in the year 
1887, 101 clergymen, 383 congregations, and 30,000 com- 
municant members. 

In 1880 a new church controversy broke out, this time 
within the Norwegian Synod itself, more serious in character 
than any of the preceeding. The controversy first arose in 
the Missouri Synod between Dr. C. F. W. Walther, of the 
theological seminary, at St. Louis, Mo., and Dr. F. A. 
Schmidt, of the theological seminary, at Madison, Wis., re- 
garding the doctrine of election and predestination. The con- 
troversy, involving very fundamental tenets of the Lutheran 
faith, soon found its way into the Norwegian Synod, which 


for a number of years had been friendly related to the Mis- 
souri Synod. From year to year the struggle grew more in- 
tense, inYolving not onlytlie ministers, but also the lay people 
in the contest. Discussions were held throughout the Synod 
at private conferences, and at the yearly synodical meetings, 
but no agreement was reached. At a church meeting held in 
Decorah, Iowa, in 1884, each party drafted a statement of 
their position in the controversy. Redegjorelsexi (The Ex- 
planation) of the Missourians, as the followers of Dr. 
Walther were called, was signed by 107 ministers. Bekjen- 
delsen (The Confession) of the Anti-Missourians, as Dr. 
Schmidt's followers were called, was signed by 72 ministers, 
which number was afterward increased to 97. Dr. Schmidt 
and his followers, who considered the difference in the doc- 
trine of the two contending parties a fundamental one, now 
established a theological seminary of their own at North- 
field, Minn., and hereworkwas begun in the fall of 1886 with 
Dr. Schmidt and Prof. Bockman as theological professors. 
This step, however, was not tolerated by the Synod. At the 
next joint synodical meeting held in Stoughton, Wis., it was 
condemned as an act of secession and a virtual separation. 
The Anti-Missourians, however, claimed a right to continue 
the seminary, and 57 of their ministers signed a protest 
against the resolutions passed upon them by the meeting, 
and seceded from the Synod. This step was soon followed 
by a large number of congregations. According to reliable 
reports about 100 ministers and over one-third of the con- 
gregations left the Norwegian Synod. 

These ministers and congregations did not, however, de- 
sire to organize themselves into a new permanent church 


denomination, which would constitute the sixth distinct body 
among the Norwegian Ltitherans in America. They met in 
Northfield, Minn., in 1886, and effected a temporary organiza- 
tion, known as The Anti-Missourian Brotherhood, of which 
Rev. L. M. Biom was elected president. It was their pur- 
pose and hope to bring about a union with the other Norwe- 
gian Lutheran churches, as soon as possible. For this pur- 
pose a series of Fri-Konferenser, or conferences for a general 
consideration of the subjects w^hich divided them, ■were held, 
in which all the bodies belonging to the Norwegian Lutheran 
church in this country took part. Six of these conferences were 
held during the years preceeding and following the organ- 
ization of the Anti-Missourian Brotherhood; in Roland, Iowa, 
1882; Holden, Minn., 1883; St. Ansgar, Iowa, 1884; Chi- 
cago, 111., 1885; Gol, Minn., 1886, and in Willmar, Minn., 
1887. These conferences, where discussion was thorough 
and earnest, and conducted in a brotherly spirit, helped the 
different parties to come to a better understanding of each 
others true position, and were largely instrumental in bring- 
ing about the union which was soon afterwards effected. 
The first meeting for the purpose of considering the possi- 
bility of union was held by the Anti-Missourians in Minne- 
apolis in February, 1888. Another meeting for the same pur- 
pose was held by all the parties, in Scandinavia, Wis., in 
November, of the same j'car. At the meeting in Scandinavia 
the articles of union were adopted for the first time by the 
denominations which afterward united. They were then 
submitted for consideration to the congregations, and to 
each of the organizations in particular. They were approved 
of by all, not a single congregation raising any objections to 


the stipulations made. At this same meeting Opgjor (Settle- 
ment) -was also made in regard to the various doctrinal con- 
troversies which from time to time had been carried on 
among the Norwegian Lutherans in America, and an agree- 
ment was reached concerning the points in dispute. In the 
early part of June, 1890, the three organizations. The 
Norwegian-Danish Conference, The Norwegian Augustana 
Synod, and The Anti-Missourian Brotherhood, held a meet- 
ing in Minneapolis for again to consider the subject of union. 
At first the organizations held separate meetings. But a 
strong sentiment in favor of union soon became predomi- 
nant. They v^ere all tired of the bitter controversies which 
for so many years had divided into hostile camps those that 
ought to stand united. On the 13th the delegates, minis- 
ters, and professors of the three organizations met in the old 
Trinity Church, belonging to the Conference, but as this 
structure was too small to hold the large assembly, they 
formed in procession and proceeded to the church belonging 
to the Swedish Augustana Synod, where they organized 
themselves into The United Norwegian Lutheran Church in 
America. The articles of union, adopted at the meeting in 
Scandinavia, Wis., and sanctioned by all the congregations, 
and by each of the organizations separately, were made the 
basis of the union. Some of the stipulations in these articles 
are as follows : 

"In order that the contracting parties can organize them- 
selves into a church, they jointly and separately agree to the 
following stipulations : 

"1. The church shall erect and operate one theological 


"2. This seminary shall be Augsburg Seminary, in 

"3. The professors at this seminary shall be paid by the 
interest from a fund. 

(a) The Augustana Synod shall contribute a fund of 

(fe) The Conference shall contribute a fund of $50,000. 

(c) The Anti-Missourians shall contribute a fund of 


(d) The fund is to consist of cash, or notes drawing in- 

terest, or other safe property. 

"4. At said seminary there shall be 5 theological pro- 

(a) The Anti-Missourians shall employ two theological 

(fo) The Augustana Synod shall employ one theological 

(c) The Conference shall employ two theological pro- 

"5. The constitution for said seminary shall be drawn 
tip as soon as the union is effected. 

" 6. Theological students already admitted to the theo- 
logical seminaries of the different organizations shall by 
■virtue of this admission be entitled to admission in the new 
theological seminary. 

"7. The church shall be incorporated as soon as pos- 

"8. To this church shall be transferred all school prop- 
erty — as well real estate as funds — which said organizations 
may be in possession of, at the time of union. 


"9. This real estate shall, when it is transferred to the 
church, be free fi-om debt. 

" 10. The preparatory departments at Augsburg Semi- 
nary, and at Canton Academy, shall be operated as usual, 
at least one year after the union is effected. InBeloit, lo-wa, 
the school shall also continue at least one year after the 
union is effected. 

"23. The board of trustees for the respective organiza- 
tions, such as they have previously been elected by said or- 
ganizations, shall continue in their office, after the union is 
effected, until the new church is incorporated, when they 
shall immediately deed all property, w^hich they hold as 
board of trustees, to the new corporation." 

The part of the contract relating to the transfer of pro- 
perty was fulfilled in due time by the Augustana Synod and 
the Brotherhood ; but Augsburg Seminary, held in trust by 
its board of trustees, was never transferred according to 
article eight above.* Within a year after the organization 
of the United Church a number of newspaper articles began 
to create a feeling of distrust among the people, and Augs- 
burg Seminary and St. Olaf College were pitted against each 
other as rival institutions by their most devoted patrons. 
It was also contended that the United Church had violated 
the stipulations of its organization bypassing the following 
resolution a couple of days after the date of its origin : "St. 
Olaf College at Northfield shall be the college of the United 
Norwegian Lutheran Church." Resolutions of a similar na- 
ture were also passed at the annual meeting in 1891, while 
the college department of Augsburg Seminary was to be 

* See the articles oq the schools and the churches in Minnesota. 


maintained "for the time being." This only made the Augs- 
burg faction the less inclined to transfer the property, their 
stock arguments being, in a nutshell, about as follows: " The 
founders of Augsburg Seminary intended it to be a theo- 
logical seminary and a college combined under our board. 
If it is transferred to the United Church, the college depart- 
ment may be dropped. But that would be contrary to the 
intention of the founders of the institution : therefore it 
ought not to be transferred to the United Church." Prof S. 
Oftedal, the president of the board, for a long time also con- 
tended that the property could not be legally transferred. In 
this controversy Oftedal was frequently characterized as one 
w^ho w^anted to keep property to which he had no rights ; 
while he and his followers made the countercharge that the 
United Church intended to violate the agreement on which 
that association was based. The feeling engendered by this 
contention w^axed quite bitter during the years 1890-93, 
and w^hen the United Church, at its annual meeting in 1893; 
decided to abandon the Augsburg buildings in case the pro- 
perty was not deeded over to the United Church in the sum- 
mer of that year, there was nothing left but to fight to the 
bitter end. The United Church "removed" its school, 
thenceforth called the United Church Seminary, from the 
Augsburg buildings to rented quarters ; the Augsburg Pub- 
lishing House was wrested from the board of trustees of 
Augsburg Seminary in the spring of 1894, by means of 
recourse to the courts ; legal proceedings were begun in 1896 
for the recovery of the Augsburg property ; in the fall of 
1897 the district court handed down a decision which was 
favorable to the United Church ; in the spring of 1898 this 


decision was quashed by the state supreme court; the United 
Church took steps to have the case tried in the court of 
eqidty ; but in the summer of 1898 the matter was settled 
out of court by mutual agreement. The main stiptdations 
of this agreement w^ere that the United Church should have 
the endow^ment fiind, nominally amounting to about $39,- 
000 ; and that no more efforts should be made to dislodge 
the old board of trustees of Augsburg Seminary. Thus 
ended one of the most memorable struggles in the history of 
the Norwegian Lutheran churches in America. 

The lawyers' fees and other expenses directly connected 
with the law suit to recover the Augsburg property entailed 
a total outlay of $11,000 on the part of the United Church. 
It is easy to appreciate this loss, because it may be expressed 
in dollars and cents. But it is not so easy to estimate the 
mental suffering and moral injury caused by the so-called 
" Augsburg Strife ; " and much of the good work done in the 
United Church during the years 1893-98 was marred by this 
strife. But no reflection ought to be cast upon the sincerity 
of the participants, for they believed they were struggling 
for a good cause, the one party as well as the other. 

From 1893 to 1898 the Augsburg faction in the United 
Church w^as bent on antagonizing the work of the latter at 
every point. But the real friends of the United Church, con- 
sisting of the people from the Brotherhood, the Augustana 
Synod and most of the Conference congregations in Iowa, 
Wisconsin and southern Minnesota — were equal to the occa- 
sion. The United Church was never seriously hampered by 
lack of funds. The treasurer reported to the annual meeting 
in 1898 : " We asked for $13,388 for general expenses, and 


we received $14,971.55." On Jan. 1, 1897, a dozen congre- 
gations were formally expelled, and a number of others with- 
* drew of their own accord. 

The whole number of churches served by the 330 minis- 
ters who were connected with the United Church in 1900 
was 1,100. These churches embraced about 225,000 souls, 
of whom 125,000 were communicant members. But the 
whole number of congregations formally belonging was 
only about 750, which had 100,000 communicant members 
and 185,000 souls. The reports of the parochial schools 
showed that on the average almost 30 days were taught in 
each congregation. The finances were in a healthy condition. 
The value of the church and school property directly or in- 
directly controlled by the organization may be put at about 

The Augsburg Publishing House issued about 120,000 
books, tracts and other items. Latheraneren and Latb- 
ersk Bbrneblad had a combined circulation of 26,000. 

In 1899 the United Church owned and controlled a theo- 
logical seminary, located in Minneapolis, Minn.; St. Olaf 
College, Northfield, Minn.; Augustana College, Canton, S.D.; 
a normal school at Madison, Minn.; and an orphans' home 
at Beloit, Iowa. The institutions mentioned below were 
either wholly or partly supported by members of the United 
Church, and several of them were officially connected with 
that body: Concordia College, Moorhead, Minn.; St. Ans- 
gar Seminary, St. Ansgar, la.; Mount Horeb Academy, 
Mount Horeb, Wis.; Scandinavia Academy, Scandinavia, 
Wis.; Pleasant View Lutheran College, Ottawa, 111.; a dea- 
conesses' institute in Chicago ; orphans' homes at Lake Park, 


Minn., in Chicago, 111., and at Wittenberg, Wis.; and hospi- 
tals at Austin, Crookston and Zumbrota, Minn, Steps have 
been taken to establish a home for aged people, and to put 
up new buildings for the theological seminary in or near the 
Twin Cities. 

Missionary work was carried on at several places in 
southern Madagascar ; but since the French took possession 
of that island the Catholics have somewhat hampered the 
efforts of the Norwegians. Members of the United Church 
also contributed quite liberally to the different missions in 

The Augsburg controversy and the withdrav/al of the 
Free Church element subjected the United Church to a great 
strain. But its honest supporters only rallied the more 
energetically to her support. At this stage it seems reason- 
able to anticipate that a body which could not be crippled 
by passing through such a crisis wiU be fully able to weather 
the storms that may rise on her future course, and whatever 
may happen in the fiature, the organization of the United 
Church is the grandest attempt ever made by Norwegiau- 
Americans to neutralize the spirit of religious discord and 
disintegration among them. 

Pages 238-42 were TewrittoD tor the ssoond edition by J. J. Skordalirold,— XorroB. 

Statistics Regarding the Scandinavians in 
the United States. 


Some one has said that figures never lie. But certainly 
different statistics on the same subject disagree very much, 
at least that is the case in regard to the reports of immigra- 
tion and emigration, by the governments of the United States 
and the Scandinavian countries. Therefore, I publish, in 
tables I. and II., all the statistics regarding the Scandinavian 
immigration and emigration which I have been able to se- 
cure. Everything in the United States census which refers to 
the Scandinavian-Amerians has been compiled in convenient 
tables, or, when such an arrangement was impossible, the 
facts have been stated in this article. 

But the figures, as given in immigration and emigration 
reports and in the census, are not altogether correct — far 
from it — but they are, after all, the nearest approach to the 
truth which can be had. And if anj' portion of this book de- 
serves to be studied, it is, perhaps, the following tables ; thej', 
for example, contain a good history of the great Scandi- 



navian movements toward the Northwest ; they show the 
proportion of Scandinavian paupers, criminals, idiots, etc., in 
comparison with other nationalities. In my opinion, hovsr- 
ever, the Scandinavian statistics, as far as they go, in regard 
to the Northern immigration into this country, are more re- 
liable than those of the United States. 

The United States statistics regarding immigration com- 
menced in 1820. From the close of the Revolutionary War 
up to 1820 it is estimated that 250,000 immigrants arrived, 
although the accurate number is not known. BetAveen the 
years of 1820-68 only the arrival of alien passengers were 
indicated, no distinction being made between the real immi- 
grants and transient sojourners, but it is estimated that 98 
per cent of all the alien passengers remained in this country. 
Prior to 1868 there vv^as no distinction made between the 
immigrants from Sweden and Norway ; both countries were 
considered as one. Since 1869 the sex of the immigrants has 
been recorded by the United States; since 1873, the age; 
since 1875, the occupation. Immigrants from the British 
North American possessions and Mexico, comprising about 
one per cent of the entire immigration into the country, 
are not included in the United States statistics, from 1885 to 
1893 owing to the absence of law providing for the collec- 
tion of accurate data in regard thereto. The minister of agri- 
culture of the Dominion of Canada reports that during the 
years of 1885-91 over 500,000 European emigrants arrived 
at Canadian ports en route for the United States. Of course 
a large proportion of these immigrants were Scandinavians, 
but their exact number cannot be ascertained. 

It was not until 1869 that there was a law in Norway 


which required the taking of accurate data in regard to Nor- 
wegian emigration. But from various sources the Norwegian 
government has secured and published facts in regard to the 
whole emigration, which, although not very correct, yet on 
the whole are, perhaps, more reliable than those published by 
the United States. The Norwegian statistics state that the 
American statistics in regard to the Norwegian immigration, 
prior to 1868, are very inaccurate. 

The Swedish statistics of emigration date from 1851. 
In a letter from the statistical bureau of Sweden it is stated 
that the figures regarding the Swedish emigration to this 
country are too lowup to the year of 1884, and whenever the 
American statistics are lower, they are still more inaccurate. 
Since 1884 the Swredish statistics are comparatively correct. 
While in latter years, even before 1884, the American reports 
regarding the Swedish immigration are too high, owing to 
the fact that many thousand Finns, who pass over Gothen- 
burg, are recorded as Swedes. But it must also be remem- 
bered that several persons who live in Finland are Swedes by 
race, and still more so by education and by language. 

The Danish statistics regarding emigration began in 

According to the United States statistics, there have ar- 
rived from 1820-90 over 15,000,000 immigrants to this 
country. Most of them have, of course, come from Europe. 
For example, Germany has supplied about 4,500,000, Ireland 
3,500,000, England 2,500,000, the Scandinavian countries 
1,250,000, and the immigrants from no other single country 
have exceeded 500,000. Taking into consideration those 
who have been omitted from the official reports, it is fair to 


estimate that 1,500,000 Scandinavians have settled in the 
United States since the country began to be colonized, up to 

The Scandinavian emigration began very late. The Nor- 
^vegian, which is the earliest, did not exceed 1,000 a year 
until 1843, the Swedish not until 1852, and the Danish not 
until 1857. The Scandinavian immigration reached its max- 
imum in 1882, when nearly 65,000 Swedes, 30,000 Norwe- 
gians, and 12,000 Danes arrived in this countrj'. Since then 
the emigration from all Northern countries has declined. 
From 1821-90 the Scandinavian emigrants constituted seven 
per cent of the total immigration. Sixty -two per cent of the 
Northern emigrants are male, 65 per cent arrive between the 
ages of 15 and 40, 24 per cent are children under 15, and 11 
per cent are over 40 years of age. During the years 1881-90, 
one person out of 5,914 was a clergyman, one out of every 
5,083 a musician, one out of 7,236 a physician and surgeon, 
and one out of 3,034 a teacher — in other w^ords, only one 
out of 1,017 had a profession, while one out of 12 was a 
skilled laborer, and one-half of the Scandinavian emigrants 
were either farmers, common laborers, merchants, or serv- 
ants. ' 

Nor is there any reason to assume that they change their 
occupations a great deal when they arrive in this country, 
for, according to the United States census of 1870, 1880, 1890, 
25 per cent of the Scandinavian-born population were en- 
gaged in agriculture, and 50 per cent labored at what -was 
called "All classes of work." It is a notable fact that one 
out of every four Scandinavian engages in agriculture, 
while onlj^ one out of six of the native Americans, one out 


of seven of the Germans, and one out of twelve of the Irish, 
follow the same profession. 

In 1890 only 32 per cent of the Swedes, 23 per cent of 
the Danes, and 21 per cent of the Norwegians, in this coun- 
try lived in cities of over 25,000 inhabitants. 

When the first census of the United States was taken, in 
1790, there were about four millions of people in the country ; 
in 1830 the population exceeded three times that amount. 
It was not until 1850 that the foreign elements were taken 
into account by the census reports. In that year one out of 
every 1,200 persons was a Scandinavian ; in 1860, one out 
of 435; in 1870, one out of 160; in 1880, one out of 114; 
and in 1890, one out of 66. But until recently the census did 
not take into account the children born in this country of 
Scandinavian parents. In 1880,* however, it was estimated 
that 635,405 persons in this country, bom anywhere in the 
world, had Scandinavian fathers, but about four thousand 
less had Scandinavian mothers — these two sums must not be 
added together, because most of the Scandinavian men and 
w^omen have married among their own nationalities. About 
84 persons out of 100 have both Scandinavian fathers and 
mothers, 86 have both German fathers and mothers, and 91 
have both Irish fathers and mothers. The fact that the 
Scandinavians inter-marry more frequently with other 
nationalities than either the Germans or the Irish, although 
less with native Americans, must have a powerful effect in 
Americanizing the former more quickly than the latter. 

In 1880 there were 440,262 Scandinavian-bom persons in 
this country ; adding these to those of Scandinavian parent- 
age bom in the U. S. must equal 1,000,000. But this re- 

* The cansas balletin enumerating the persons of Scandinavian parentage in the 
United States for 1890, did not appear nntil the latter part of 1891, and the result of said 
report has been tabulated on page 264< 


suit is, virtually, also obtained by multiplying 440,262 by 
2%. Therefore, if anyone desires to ascertain the exact num- 
ber of Scandinavians and their children, in proportion to the 
total population, of any year, state, territory, or city, he can 
multiply the figures — as found in tables III., IV., V., VI , 
VII. and VIII., in this volume — by 2V^. But the census re- 
ports are far from being correct, they omit many persons 
of all nationalities, and frequently confound foreigners as 
well as natives ; but, as a general thing, they fall below and 
not above the real number. And, without doubt, the nearest 
approach to the truth in regard to the number of Danes, 
Norwegians, Swedes, and their children, in this country, can 
be had by multiplying the Scandinavian-bom — as recorded 
in the United States census for each year, and in each state, 
territory, and city — by 3. 

According to this method of calculation, one person out 
of every 25 in the United States was, in 1890, a Scandinavian, 
either by birth, or by parentage. It is, perhaps, a conserva- 
tive estimate to assume that there are, in 1900, three millions 
of Northmen in this country. In several of the Northwestern 
states they are the controlling power. Two-fifths of the total 
population in Minnesota are Scandinavians. There are in 
this country about one-fifth as many Danes as in Denmark, 
one-third as many Swedes as in Sweden, and one-half as many 
Norwegians as in Norway. 

The United States statistics in regard to the defective 
population in the country, by nationalities, are very incom- 
plete. In 1870, however, one out of every 670 of the Irish 
in this country was either deaf and dumb, or blind ; one out 
of 962 of bhe French; one out of 980 of the English; one out 


of 1,033 of the natiYe-born Americans; one out of 1,142 
of the British-Americans ; one out of 1,480 of the Germans ; 
and one out of 1,810 of the Scandinavians. In thesame year 
one in 197 of the Irish was insane or idiotic, one in 380 of 
the French, one in 465 of the Germans, one in 584 of the 
English, one in 672 of the native-born Americans, one in 682 
of the Scandinavians, and one in 1,075 of the British-Ameri- 

In 1880, 1 in 165 of the Spaniards was a prisoner, 1 in 
199 of the Chinese, 1 in 207 of the Mexicans, 1 in 2G0 of the 
Italians, 1 in 350 of the Irish, 1 in 411 of the Scotch, 1 in 433 
of the French, 1 in 456 of the English, 1 in 590 of the British- 
Americans, 1 in 813 of the Portugese, 1 in 916 of the Rus- 
sians, 1 in 949 of the native-born Americans and Germans, 
1 in 1,033 of the Poles, 1 in 1,173 of the Welsh, 1 in 1,195 
of the Belgians, 1 in 1,231 of the Swiss, 1 in 1,383 of the 
Hollanders, and 1 in 1,539 of the Scandinavians. 

The census of 1890, in regard to the defective classes, is 
very faulty. Yet it appears that one in 132 of the Irish in 
this country was a pauper, one in 356 of the Germans, one 
in 387 of the English, one in 690 of the Bohemians, one in 
792 of the Scandinavians, and one in 974 of the British- 

Considering the excellent record of the Scandinavians in 
regard to crimes and pauperism, the readiness with which 
they take to farming and become Americanized, the com- 
mendable educational and religious training they have re- 
ceived in the North, and it is no wonder that they are by 
American economists considered to be the best immigrants. 

*For a complete discussion of criminality and insanity see pp. 1-22, Vol. II. 


About 50 per cent of the Scandinavian emigrants arrive 
by prepaid passage tickets secured by relatives here. During 
each year between 1890 and 1900, the postal money orders 
issued in the United States, payable in the Scandinavian 
countries, amounted to about $2,250,000, and it is estimated 
that something like $6,500,000 besides was in one year sent 
to the North through banks and by other means. During 
the same period only about $500,000 was annually sent 
from the North to the United States by means of postal 
money orders. Of course, part of these sums were settle- 
ments for business transactions ; yet the United States post- 
office reports assert that the excess noted is mainly due to 
the fact that the immigrants contribute liberally to the sup- 
port of their friends across the ocean. 

It is impossible, however, to arrive at anything like a 
correct conclusion in regard to w^hat amount of w^ealth in 
the shape of presents, prepaid passage tickets, and actual 
cash which Scandinavian-Americans have transferred from 
the United States to the North. Smith, in his excellent book, 
Emigration and Immigration, estimates that each immi- 
grant sends to his native country $35, and from 1820-99, 
according to the United States statistics, not far from 1,500,- 
000 Northmen have settled in this country. If each of them 
returned $35, the total sum transferred would amount to 

Each immigrant, however, brings with him a certain 
sum, which Smith estimates to average from $68 to $100 ; 
but no accurate statistics on this subject have ever been 
published. "It costs," to quote the same authority, 
"about $562.50 to bring up a child in Europe till 


15 years of age, and twice that amount in the United States. 
But this estimate does not mean the real value of men ; they 
are not valued in dollars and cents. But every immigrant 
must represent labor capacity, worth at least the value of a 
slave, which was $800 or $1,000 before the war, but being 
a free man he may not choose to work. But it is figured that 
each immigrant is worth $875." Assuming that each Scan- 
dinavian immigrant has brought $75, which added to $875, 
the value of his labor capacitj^, amounts to $950, and multi- 
plying this by the whole number of immigrants, we find that 
the Scandinavian countries have sent — or rather permitted 
to be transfered — to the United States one billion four hun- 
dred and fiftymillion dollars (1,450,000,000) worth of prop- 
erty in the form of human beings and what valuables these 
have brought with them. Even subtracting the $52,500,000, 
which have been returned in the shape of prepaid tickets, 
presents, and cash, it yet leaves the United States in a debt 
of $l,397,500, the Scandinavian countries.* 

The different Scandinavian churches in this country have 
always exercised a great influence. But it is impossible in 
this article to give very elaborate statistics in regard to 
them; nor is it necessary, because this volume contains his- 
torical sketches of several of the leading Scandinavian- Ameri- 
can church organizations, and each of these sketches deals 
more or less with the statistics of each denomination. Table 
X., however, contains some facts in regard to the Scandi- 
navian churches in this country. These facts have mostly 
been gathered from their own published reports, but in a few 
cases from the United States census of 1890 ; and, although 
they are incomplete, and in some cases inaccurate, they are 

♦According to the immigration report of 1898. the Scandinavian immigrants, who in 
wealth averaged more than the total Earopean immigrants, had only $20 each. 


unquestionably a fair estimate of the strength of the Scandi- 
navian-American churches. Of course, there are other Scan- 
dinavian church organizations in this country, besides those 
enumerated in table X. ; but they are small, their union gen- 
erally loose, and I have been unable to secure any data in 
regard to them. But I doubt if any one of the church or- 
ganizations "which have been omitted in table X. exceeds 
1,000 in membership. Yet there are a great number of Scan- 
dinavian churches which are independent, and not connected 
with any synod, or general organization of several churches; 
besides, many Scandinavians are members of purely American 
churches ; and it is, perhaps, fair to assume that one-half, or 
at least one-third, of the Scandinavian-Americans are mem- 
bers of some religious society. During the last fifty years the 
Scandinavian churches in this country have, no doubt, ex- 
pended for religious, educational, and charitable purposes, 
between fifty and one hundred million dollars. Besides the 
churches, there are in this country many Scandinavian tem- 
perance, benevolent, and secret organizations, which have ex- 
ercised quite an influence, but it has been impossible to secure 
any statistics in regard to them. It is a notable fact that, 
although the Swedish population, first and second genera- 
tions, in this country, exceed, in 1900, the Norwegian by 
130,000, yet the different Norwegian-American church or- 
ganizations have at least 50,000 more communicant mem- 
bers than the Swedish. Strange as it may seem, the various 
church strifes among the Norwegians appear to have been 
the main cause of this great difference, because there is no 
reason to assume that the Swedish people are less religious 
than the Norwegian. 



Showing the number of Scandinavian passengers and immigrants, togkther 


IN THE United States during each year from 1820-68. 

Passengers And immigrants — According to the statis- 
tics OP THE United States. 

Emigrants— Accord- 
ing TO THE statis- 
tics OP THE Scan. 








Total Aliens. 








































































































































































































































Total '30-30. 







'206 ' 










































Total Ml -40. 




1844 . 







Total '4l-.'yO 















Total >51-60 







1 ,485 











Total '61-68 


The United States statistics include only six months of the year 1S68, and 
afterward every statistical year ends June 30. 







































































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Showing the number of Scandinavians born in the Scandinatiak 
countries, together with the total population, in each state 
and territory in the united states — according to the united 
States census of 1850. 

States and Territories. 







District of Columbia 












Minnesota Territory.... 



New Hampshire 


New Mexico Territory., 

New York 

North Carolina 


Oregon Territory 


Rhode Island 

South Carolina 



Utah Territory 




Total . 


























































































































Total Popu- 





19-', 214 
33 7.978 






2.31 1,786 













Showing the number of Scandinavians born in the Scandinavian 
countries, together with the total population, in each state 
and territory in the united states — according to the united 
States census of 1860. 

States and Territories. 





















New Hampshire 


New York 

North Carolina 




Rhode Island 

South Carolina 






Colorado Territory 

Dakota Territory 

District of Columbia 

Nebraska Territory 

Nevada Territory 

New Mexico Territory.. 

Utah Territory 

Washington Territory.. 




























































































































, 7,814 


































Total Popu- 















































Showing the number op Scandinavians born in the Scandinavian 
countries, together with the total population, in each state 


States census OP 1870. 

■According to the United 

States and Territories. 























New Hampshire 

New Jersey. 

New York 

North Corolina 




Rhode Island 

South Carolina 





"West Virginia 


Arizona Territory 

Colorado Territory 

Dakota Territory ;.. 

District of Columbia.... 

Idaho Territory 

Montana Territory 

New Mexico Territory.. 

Utah Territory 

Washington Territory. . 
Wyoming Territory 

Total . 

























































































































































































Total Popu- 

















































In this census nine Danes, three Norwegians, and five Swedes are classified as 
Colored. Ofcourse these persons do not properly belong to the Scandinavian people. 




Showing the number of Scandinavians born in the Scandinavian 
countries, together with the total population, in each state 
and territory in the united states — according to the united 
States census of 1880 

States and Territories. 





Total Popu- 
























New Hampshire 

New Jersey 

New York 

North Carolina 

Ohio , 

Oregon ._ 


Rhode Island 

South Carolina 





"West Virginia 


Arizona Territory 

Dakota Territory 

District of Columbia... 

Idaho Territory 

Montana Territory 

New Mexico Territory 

Utah Territory 

Washington Territory 




















































































































































































































































Showing the number of Scandinavians born in the Scandinavian 
countries, together with the total population, in each state 
and territory in the united states ^according to the united 
States census of 1890. 

States and Territories 


Arizona Territory 






District of Columbia — 




















New Hampshire 

New Jersey 

New Mexico Territory.. 

New York 

North Dakota 

North Carolina 


Oklahoma Territory., .. 



Rhode Island 

South Dakota 

South Carolina 


Utah Territory 




West Virginia 















• 12,044. 














■ 14,345 




































/" 30,339 


.^ 27,078 








► 101,169 










X 25,773 







/ 19,257 









/ 65,696 


Total 132,543 322,665 478,041 933,349 62,622,250 













r 86,514 


/ 30,276 








A 99,913 






















































y 46,341 





<■ 43,270 

















• 99,738 


Total Popu- 






















A- 1,301,825 






























Showing the number of Scandinavians born in the Scandinavian 
countries, together with the total population, in every city 
IN THE Union having a population of 25,000 or more, and where 
THE Scandinavians exceed 1,000 — According to the United States 
CENSUS OF 1890. 






Total Popu- 

Boston, Mass 

Brockton, Mass 

Brooklyn, N, Y 

Cambridge, Mass 

Chicago, 111 

Denver, Col 

Des Moines, Iowa 

Duluth, Minn 

Grand Rapids, Mich., 

Jersey City, N.J 

Kansas City, Mo 

La Crosse, Wis 

Milwaukee, Wis 

Minneapolis, Minn..., 

New York, N. Y 

Oakland, Cal 

Omaha, Neb 

Philadelphia, Pa 

Portland, Org 

Providence. R. I 

Salt Lake City, Utah 
San Francisco, Cal.... 

Seattle, Wash 

Sioux City, Iowa 

St. Louis, Mo 

St. Paul, Minn 

Tacoma, Wash 

Worcester, Mass 













































. 43,032 



















i 71,954 
. 1,969 

<■ 33,564 

/, 11,131 















































































































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navian parents; bdt the persons enumerated below may have been 
BORN in Scandinavia, America, or anywhere else — According to 
THE United States census op 1890, published in 1894. 

States and Teeeitohies. 








Delaware , 

District of Columbia 

Florida , 



















New Hampshire 

New Jersey 

New Mexico 

New York 

North Dakota 

North Carolina 





Rhode Island 

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— OP THE — 

Scaiidinavian-American Historical literature of 
tlie Nineteenth Century. 

— BY— 

0. N. NELSON. 

It has been the aim to enumerate in these notes all of the most 
important books, pamphlets, shurch reports, and magazine articles which 
relate to the Scandinavian- American historical literature of the nineteenth 
century. In order to make the collection as complete as possible, all the 
leading libraries in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, as well as 
some in the Scandinavian countries, have been consulted; a thorough 
search has been made of a large number of book stores and publishing 
houses, both in Europe and in this country, and even private libraries 
have been ransacked. But all these establishments together do not by 
any means contain all the matters enumerated in this list. There is not a 
public library in the world that has a fairly complete collection of Scandi- 
navian-American historical literature. The Royal Library in Stockholm 
and the Angustana College Library in Bock Island have a large number of 
books, etc., in relation to Swedish-Americans, and Luther College in 
Decorah has begun to collect materials in regard to the Norwegians. But 
even these collections are defective. Consequently this bibliography has 
been compiled from various sources. The voluminous "Sabin's Dictionary 
of Books" has been carefully examined; and for several years back, I 
have corresponded with hundreds of Scandinavian-American writers and 
book collectors. As a result of all this, I have collected in my private 
library a large number of books and pamphlets, written by Scandinavian- 
Americans, on various subjects. But even my collection, although very 
comprehensive, does not contain all the works enumerated in this biblio- 

Besides the books, pamphlets, church annuals, etc., which are men- 
tioned in this list, a large number of emigration reports, school catalogues, 
legislative manuals, county histories, newspapers, and statistics of various 
kinds have been consulted in the preparation of the first and second 
volumes. All the volumes of the U. S. Census from 1790 to 1890, and 
several state census reports of the Northwestern states, have been 
carefully examined. But it is, of course, impossible to enumerate all of it 
here. Hundreds of Scandinavian-American newspapers have been pub- 
lished during the last fifty years, and most of them have contained more 
or less matter of an historical nature. I have searched the flies of several of 
the most important of such publications, and collected some valuable 
newspaper articles. Most journals in the North and many English papers 



in America have at one time or another referred to the Scandinavian- 
Americans. Millions of private letters have passed between the Scandi- 
navian countries and the United States, and many of them have been 
valuable historical documents. Evidently, it is beyond the power of 
mortals to enumerate all historical materials in regard to the Scandi- 
navian-Americans, and I have, rightly or wrongly, limited the list to 
books, pamphlets, magazine articles, and church reports. 

Often it is difHcult to determine whether a book ia historical, theo- 
logical, poetical, or simply the product of some crank or stupid fanatic. 
Nor has it always been possible for me to scrutinize all of the materials 
enumerated in this bibliography, and I am undecided whether I have 
sinned most by commission or by omission in this connection. Considering 
the various church disputes which have been carried on among the Nor- 
wegian-Americans, it was deemed wise to include some productions which 
can hardly be called historical. In fact, some of these so abound in truth 
and falsehood, personal abuse and religious bombast, as to deserve to 
be classified as "insane or malicious" literature. The Danes and Swedes 
have issued less of this class of brain product. The Swedish-Americans 
can boast of a fairly solid historical literature, which in point of quality 
excels by far that of the other two nationalities put together. Some 
works of fiction often paint the social life and customs of a people with 
a brilliancy and a clearness which surpass most historical productions. In 
this line of literature the Norwegian-Americans have produced some 
masterpieces, but none of them have been enumerated in this connection. 

It has been deemed unnecessary, in this connection, to deal with the 
bibliographies regarding the discovery of America by the Northmen and 
the Swedish settlement on the Delaware Kiver, because the tv;o articles on 
these subjects have been published in this volume only to make the 
Scandinavian-American history complete; otherwise the main object of 
this work is to relate the story of the Scandinavians in the United States 
in the nineteenth century. Besides, P. B. Wataon has published, in the 
fourth edition of Prof. K. B. Anderson's "America not Discovered by 
Columbus," a very complete bibliography regarding the Northmen's dis- 
covery of America, and Marie A. Brown, in her work, "The Icelandic Dis- 
coverers of America," treats the same subject; while the fourth volume of 
the "Narrative and Critical History of America" contains a very extensive 
bibliography regarding the Swedish settlement on tha Delaware Kiver, by 
Prof. G. B. Keen. 

In the preparation of this work, the following authorities have mainly 
been relied upon in regard to the history of the Vikings and the history of 
the Scandinavian countries: Odhner's "Sveriges, Norges och Danmarks 
Historia"; Geijer's "Svenska Folkets Historia"; Montelius's "Sveriges 
Historia"; Sars's "Udsigt over den Norske Historie"; Boyesen's "Story of 
Norway"; Worsaae's "Danes and Norwegians in England, Scotland, and 
Ireland"; Gibbon's "Roman Empire"; Green's "History of the English 
People"; Prederiksen's articles in "Scandinavia"; Cornelius's "Svenska 
Kyrkans Historia." 

Pages 267-76 were electrotyped for the first edition, and it was not 
deemed necessary to rearrange them, although a few publications enumer- 
ated there might have been omitted. The rest of this bibliography 
treats of works omitted in the first edition, which appeared in 1893, and of 
publications issued since that time. 


1841. Om Amerika samt om Emigrant-Foreningen i 
Stockholm. Stockholm, Sweden. 

"Intended to fctmisTi Swedisli emigrants with the necessary informa- 
tion abont the United States. It contains also a short historical introduc- 
tion in "which the fate of the Swedish settlements in North America is re- 

1846. Reise blandt de Norske Emigranter i de Forenede 
Nordamerikanske Fristater. Rev. J. W. Dietrichson, Sta- 
vanger, Norway. 

1847. Erik Jansismen i Nord Amerika. 

This little pamphlet is an anonymous account given forth as '* Bref frSll 
en af Utvandrame," and is in reality a most violent attack upon the beliefil 
of Janson and his methods in conducting the party of emigrants. 

1848. Beretning om de Norske Setlere i Amerika. C. 
Rudolf, Bergen, Norway. 

1851. Nogle Ord fra Praedikestolen i Amerika og Norge. 
Rev. J. W. Dietrichson, Stavanger, Norway. 

1851. Jenny Lind in America. C. J. Rosenberg, New 
York City. 

1853. The Homes of the New World ; Impressions of 
America. Fredrika Bremer, New York City. 

These two volumes are mostlymade up of letters, written by the author- 
ess during her visit to America, in 1849-52, and contain some information 
regarding the early Swedish pioneers in this country, as -well as descriptions 
of the places she visited. 

1853. Geografisk Politisk Beskrivelse over de Forenede 
Nordamerikanske Stater, i saerdeleshed for Emigranter. J. 
Bollin, Kristiania, Norway. 

1862. Minnen. Rev. Gustaf Unonius, Stockholm, Sweden. 

This -work is bound in two large volumes. Rev. Unonius came from 
Sweden to the Northwest in 1841JJ remained in America for seventeen years, 
then returned to Sweden. His work is, perhaps, the best and the most ad. 
mirable description of the early pioneer life that has yet been published ia 
the Swedish language. 


1865. Protocoll och Handlingar rorande Prestmotet i 
Upsala kr 1865. Upsala, Sweden. 

This volume contains a lecture delivered by Prof. L. P. Esbjom, at the 
conference of the Swedish Lutheran clergy, held in Upsala in 1865, in -which 
he gives a good historical review of the early Swedish- American Lutheran 
Church. The lecture is also published in "Korsbaneret" for 1885, 

1865. The Emigration from Europe during the present 
century; its Causes and Effects. A. Jorgensen, Quebec, 

Translated from Norwegian statistics and reports, and from extracts 
of other authorities. 

1866. The Bergen Family; or the Descendants of Hans 
Hansen Bergen. T. G. Bergen, New York City. 

This volume gives a complete biography of H. H. Bergen, a Norwegian, 
who came to America in 1633 and settled in New Amsterdam. His name 
has probably been identified with the supposed Norwegian settlement at 
Bergen, N. J., in 1624-, w^hich is referred to in Nordmaendene i Amerika, by 
Knud Langeland, but undoubtedly never existed. 

1867. Syv Foredrag over de Kirkelige Forholde blandt 
de Norske i America. Rev. H. A. Preus, Kristiania, Norway. 

Containing a great deal of valuable information in regard to the early 
history of the Norwegian- American Lutheran churches. 

1869. Det Skandinaviske Regiments Historic. J. A. 
Johnson, La Crosse, Wis. 

This volume is one of the first histories of the famous Fifteenth Wiscon- 
sin Regiment, besides it contains biographies of the leading officers in the 

1868-70. Skandinavisk Billedmagazin. Madison, Wis. 

This magazine contains, among other things, quite an extensive account 
of the first Norwegian settlements in "Wisconsin and Illinois, as well as a 
history of the early Norwegian emigration; w^ritten by Prof. Svein Nilsson. 

1872. Beskrifning ofver America. Alex Nilsson, Gothen- 
burg, Sweden. 

A pamphlet containing some valuable information in regard to emigra- 
tion, being, in fact, only an emigration guide-book. 


1874. Ty& Ir i Amerika (1872-1874). Hugo Nisbeth, 
Stockholm, Sweden. 

This volume contains descriptions, by ttie author, -who was a ncTvs- 
paper correspondent traveling' through the country, of several Swedish 
settlements, especially in the North w^est and in California. 

1876. Fra Amerika. Y. C. S. Topsoe, Copenhagen, 

The author traveled through the United States, describes the country, 
and sometimes refers to the Scandinavian-Americans, especiallj the Danes. 

1876. Wisconsinismen belyst ved Historiske Kjendsgjer- 
ninger. Prof. A. Weenaas, Chicago, 111. 

This book contains a lengthy discussion of the different theological 
questions which have divided the Norwegian-American Lutherans. The 
w^ork is rather an attack upon the teachings of some of the ministers of the 
Norwegian Synod, and w^as answ^ered by Rev. H. A. Preus in his book, 
Professorerne Oftedals og Weenaas' s Wisconsiniszne betragtet i Sandhedeas 

1876. Professoreme Oftedals og Weenaas's Wisconsin- 
isme betragtet i Sandhedens Lys. Rev. H. A. Preus, Decorah, 

This is an answer to Prof. A. Weenaas' book, Wisconsinismen, and de- 
fends the teachings of the Norw^egian Synod and discusses the diiferent 
theological questions which have divided the Norwegian-American Luther- 

1877. HistoryofHenry County, III. Chicago, 111. 

This book contains a concise history of Bishop Hill Colony. 

1879, Svenskarne i St. Croix-dalen, Minnesota. Rob- 
ert Gronberger, Minneapolis, Minn. 

A small pamphlet containing a good description of the early Swedish 
settlements in "Washington and Chisago counties, where the first Swedish 
settlements in Minnesota w^as made. It also contains a long biography of 
Jacob Falstrom. Gronberger maintains that Oscar Roos, who came to 
Minnesota in 1850, was the first Swedish settler in the state ; but Rev. E. 
Norelius, in his great and valuable work, De Svenska L,aterska Forsan2~ 
lingarnas och Svenskames Historia i Amerika, asserts that the first Swed- 
ish settlement occured in 1851. But in a letter to the editor of this work, 
Roos affirms Gronberger's statement. 


1880. GenomDenStoraYestern. J. Stadling, Stockholm, 

This volume contains a very good description, especially of the Pacific 
Coast and the West, where the author traveled through. He was very friend- 
ly towards America, but the -work contains little or nothing in regard to 
Scandinavian- American history. 

1880. Svenskame i Illinois. Capt. Eric Johnson and 
C. F. Peterson, Chicago. 

This book is one of the largest and most reliable Swedish-American 
histories. It contains descriptions of the different Swedish settlements in 
Illinois, and biographies and pictures of hundreds of Swedes in that state. 
It also contains some new matter in regard to the Swedish settlement on 
Delaware River. It is the oldest, and among the best authorities on the 
Swedish settlement at Bishop Hill. The work is w^ell w^ritten and impartial. 

1882. Svenka Nationaliteten i Forenta Staterna. Tan* 
cred Boissy, Gothenburg, Sweden. 

A small pamphlet containing information in regard to the social, religi- 
ous, and economical conditions of the Swedes in the United States. The 
main value of the work is the fact that the author looks at most things 
from a purely Swedish standpoint. 

1883. Ole Bull. Sara C. Bull, Boston, Mass 

This volume contains a biography of Ole Bull and a short mention of 
his Norwegian colony in Pennsylvania. 

1883. EUing Eielsens Liv og Yirksomhed. Rers. Chr. 
O. Brohaugh and I. Eisteinsen, Chicago, 111. 

This book contains a complete biography of Rev. E. Eiclscu, giving a 
good review of the religious conditions in Norway and among the early 
Norwegian settlers in this country in his time. It contains also much valu- 
able information in regard to Hauge*sSynod,Norwegian-AmericanL,utheran 
church disputes, and in regard to the hardships of the early pioneers. 

1884. Amerika; Sect Fra et Landbosstandpunkt. H. 
Andreasen, Copenhagen, Denmark. 

The author traveled through this country, described it, and sometimes 
refers to the Scandinavian-Americans, especially the Danes. 

1884. Det Fcmtende Wisconsin Regiments Historic og 


Yirksomhed Under Borgerkrigen. P. G. Dietrichson, Chi- 
cago, 111. 

A small pamphlet containing a history of the Fifteenth Wisconsin, or 
Scandinavian, Regiment, and a list of all the persons -who ■were enlisted in 
the regiment. 

1885. Rockfords Svenskar. Geo. Kaedeiig, Chicago, 111. 

A pamphlet containing a sketch of the Swedes and their biographies in 
Rockford and of the business enterprises in which they are engaged. 

1883-86. Scandinavia. Chicago, 111. 

This magazine contains several lengthy and important articles on 
Scandinavan-American history. The last two numbers of 1886 contain 
historical information about and biographies of the Scandinavians in St. 
Paul and Minneapolis, Minn. This Magazine, published and edited by 
N. C. Frederiksen, w^as among the best literary productions in the English 
language that has yet been attempted by the Scandinavian- Americans. 

1886. Svenska Tidningar och Tidskrifter titgiiha inom 
Nord Amerikas Forenta Stater. Bernhard Ltindstedt, 
Stockholm, Sweden. 

This work is very valuable and was published under the direction of the 
Royal Library of Sweden. It contains a complete history of all of the 
Swedish newspapers and periodicals that have been, and are, published in 
the United States. , 

1886. The History of the Baptist Mission. Rer. G. W. 
Herrey, St, Louis, Mo. 

This Tolume contains a. history of the Baptists in Denmark, Norw^ay, 
and Sweden, and refers to the Sw^edish Baptists in this country, 

1887. The Scandinavians in the United States. Dr. Al- 
fecrt Shaw. 

This article, published in The Cbautauquan in Dec., 1887, contains a 
great deal of valuable statistics regarding the Scandinavian-Americans, as 
well as other information. The calm and judicious views of the writer, re- 
garding the topic of the paper, make it of great value. 

1887. Historiske Meddelelser omdenNorskeAugustana 
Synode. Rev. O.J. Hatlestad, Decorah, Iowa. 

This volume contains not only a history of the Norwegian Augustana 
Synod, but also touches upon the history of the other Norwegian-American 
Lutheran churches, as well as on the settlements. It is the most complete 
NQrwegian-Anaericoa history that has yet appeared. 


1887. Scandinavian Studies in the United States. Dan- 
iel Kilham Dodge. 

This article, published in Science in May, 1887, contains a good, bat 
rather incomplete, historical review of the studies of the Scandinavian. 
langTiages in American and Scandinavian-American colleges and universi- 
ties. Prof. J. P. Uhler, in a letter published in the same magazine shortly- 
after, adds some new facts on the subject. 

1887. Appletons* Cyclopedia of American Biography. 
James Grant Wilson and John Fiske, New York City. 

This great and valuable work contains a few biographies of Scandi- 

1888. Two Hundred and Fiftieth Anniversary of the 
First Swedish Settlement in America. Col. Hans Mattson^ 
Minneapolis, Minn. 

Containing nothing nev?, except a letter from the Hon, T. F. Bayard, in 
which he acknowledges that one of his ancestors, on the maternal side, was 
a Swede. 

1888. Praedikener over Kirke-Aarets Evangelier holdte 
of Prester i den Norske Synode i Amerika. Rev.Einar Wulfs- 
berg, Decorah, Iowa. 

This volume contains several sermons and a few short biographies of" 
ministers of the Norwegian Synod. 

1888. Norwegian Emigration. Prof. H. H. Boyesen. 

This article was published in American, in 1888. 

1888. Den Evanglisk-Lutherske Kirkes Historic i 
Amerika. Rev. R. Andersen, Brooklyn, N. Y. 

This volume contains a history of all the American Lutheran churches^ 

as well as biographies of some of the Swedish- American Lutheran ministers 
in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The last ten pages contain a. 
brief historical review of the Scandinavian- American Lutheran churches. 

1888. The "Foreign Element" in New York City. Geo. 
J. Mason. 

This article, publisbed in Harper's Weekly, Sept.l, 1888, contains some 
information regarding tlie Scandinavians in the United States, especially in 
New York City. 


1889. History of Utah. H. H. Bancroft, San Fran- 
cisco, Cal. 

The sixteenth chapter and foot-notee on page 411 contain some matters re- 
garding the Scandinavian immigration to Utah. 

1889. Den Norske Indvandring til 1850 og Skandinav- 
eme i Amerikas Politik. Jobs. B. "Wist, Madison, Wis. 

A small pamphlet containing a, good history of the Danish and Nor- 
■wegian immigration, and of the Norwegian settlement in Texas. 

1889. Nordmaendene i Amerika. Knud Langeland, Chi- 
cago, 111. 

This work contains some valiaable information in regard to the Norwe- 
gian immigration, the first settlements, and the early Norwegian-American 
press; but, on the w^hole,it is more of an autobiography of Kntid Langeland 
than a history of the Norwegians. The author is unquestionably mistaken 
w^hen he asserts that a Norwegian colony existed at Bergen, N. J., in 1624; 
but for a full discussion on this point consult O. N. Nelson's article on Hans 
Hansen Bergen, published in The North, Dec. 21, 1892, and in Nordvestea 
about the same time. A brief statement of the facts regarding this point ia 
also made on page 35 in this volume. 

1887-90. Norges Laeger i det Nittende Aarhundrede. 
Dr. F. C. Kjaer, Kristiania, Nor-way. 

Contains biographies of the Norw^egian physicians of the 19th century, 
some of whom now reside in this country. 

1890. Norsemen in the United States. Rev. Kristofer 

In this article, published in The Cosmopolitan in October, 1890, the 
author makes some assertions in regard to Norwegian- American history 
which hardly coincide with the actual facts; yet his discussion is valuable, 
both from a literary and historical standpoint. 

1890. The Norwegico-Danish M. E. Church in America. 

A small pamphlet containing some valuable information in regard to 
the early history of the Norwegian-Danish Methodist Church in this coun- 
try. No date or place of publication is mentioned, the author's name does 
not appear. But the work was written by Rev. A. Haagensen, of Chicago, 
and, perhaps, published in 1890. 

1890. American Lutheran Biographies. Rev. J. C. Jens- 
son, Milwaukee, Wis. 

A large volume containing biographies of over 350 Lutheran-American 
ministers, a large proportion of w^hom are Scandinavians. As a. work of 


reference it is -^ery valuable, tliro-wing much light upon the church history 
of the different Scandinavian-American Lutheran denominations. 

1890. Emigration and Immigration. R. M. Smith, 
New York Citj. 

This .volume contains a very able discussion upon the immigration 
question, audlfrequently refers to the Scandinavian immigrants. 

1890. Life of John Ericsson. W. C. Church, New York 

This -work, bound in t-wo Tolumes, contains a complete biography of 
John Ericsson, the greatest Scandinavian-American. 

1890. The Swedes in America. Rev. C. A. Swensson, 
Topeka, Kan. 

A lecture published in pamphlet form. 

1890. De Svenska Luterska Forsamlingarnas och 
Svenskarnes Historia i Amerika. Rev. E. NoreHiis, D. D., 
Rock Island, 111. 

This is a large volume containing an extensive history of the Swedish- 
American Lutheran Church, and biographies of the ministers, as well as 
a history of the different Swedish settlements, from the earliest time of the 
immigration in the nineteenth century up to 1860. The -work, on the whole, 
is fairly accurate, intensely Lutheran, but not bigoted. The author is, no 
doubt, mistaken w^hen he asserts that the j&rst Sivedish settlement in Min- 
nesota occured in 1S51„ Both Robert Gronberger, in his STrenskarne i St. 
Croix-dalen, Minnesota, and Oscar Roos, who was the first Swedish set- 
tler in the state, contradict him. Norelius's description of the early settle- 
ments is especially excellent and vivid, 

1890. Pastor S. Newmans Sjelfbiografi. Rev. S. B. New- 
man, Chicago, 111. 

This volume contains an autobiography of the author, as well as a great 
deal of valuable information in regard to the history of the Swedish Metho- 
dist Church in this country, 

1890. Det Norske Luther-College. Rev. J. Th. Ylvisaker, 
Decorah, Iowa. 

Contains ». history of Luther College, at Decorah, Iowa., and bio- 
graphies of the professors and instructors connected with the institution 


1890. The Lutherans in America. Rev. E. J. Wolf, D. D. 
New York City. 

This Toliame contains short, bxit quite good historical sketches of the 
different Scandinavian-American Lutheran organizations, including the 
Swedish Lutherans on the banks of the Delaware Ri rer in the ,seTenteenth 

1890. Genom Norra Amerikas Foreuta Stater. P. Wal- 
denstrom, Stockholm, Sweden. 

A large volume containing a chapter relating to the Swedes in America, 
giving some good specimens of the Sw^edish- American language. The 
author is unfriendly towards America, and the w^ork as a whole is very 

1890. Svensk-Amerikanska Poeter. Ernst Skarstedt, 
Minneapolis, Minn. 

This volume contains biographies and pictures of eighteen Swedish- 
American poets, together with well selected specimens of their poetical 
productions. From a literary standpoint, it is one of the best Swedish- 
American compilations; from a historical standpoint, it shovirs the tendency 
and mode of thought of the Swedes in this country, and gives some good 
examples of the Americanization of the Swedish language. Especially is 
Det Nya, Modersm^let, by H. Stockenstrom, an excellenf illustration of 
Swedish- Americanism, 

1890. Oregon och Washington. Ernst Skarstedt, Port- 
land, Ore. 

This volume contains a great deal of information in regard to the his- 
tory of the Scandinavian settlements, churches, and societies in Oregon and 
Washington, as well as biographies of about a hundred Northmen in those 
states. The work is very reliable. 

1891 . United Scandinavian Singers of America Souvenir. 
Hj.rry Randall, Minneapolis, Minn. 

A small pamphlet containing a short history of the organization, and 
biographies and half-tone pictures of some of its leading members. 

1890-91. Minnen. English translation: The Story of 
an Emigrant. Col. Hans Mattson, Lund, Sweden; and St. 
Paul, Minn. 

This volume is not a mere autobiography of the author, which, how^ever, 
forms the principal part of the work, but as he was one of theearlySwedish 


riioneers in this country, being for years one of the leading* Scandinavian^ 
Americans, his -work contains much valuable information in regard to 
Scandinavian- American history. The Swedish edition is the best and most 
ccmplete, although the last chapter of the English edition contains certain 
statistical information in regard to the Scandinavian- Americans -which 
is not contained in the Swedish. 

1892. The Scandinavians in the United States. Prof. 
H. H. Boyesen. 

In this article, published in Tbe North American iJeWew in Nov., 1892, 
the author, among other things, criticises the Scandinavians for their clan- 
nishness. But the article contains also much valuable information in re- 
gard to the Northmen. 

1892. Scandinavians in the North^vest. Prof, Kendric 
C. Babcock. 

This article, published in The Forum in September, 1892, contains valu- 
able information in regard to the Scandinavian- American population, 
especially in regard to statistics. The author being a native Amer can, his 
opinions about the Northmen have a specific value, 

1892. The Bishop Hill Colony. Dr. M. A. Mikkelsen, 
Baltimore, Md. 

This pamphlet is the most complete history on the subject that has yet 
appeared. It contains also a discussion of the religious movement in Hels- 
ingland, -which finally caused the colonists to emigrate. 

1892. Augustana College Album. Rock Island, 111, 

A pamphlet containing a history of the school, and biographies of all 
the professors and instructors who have been, or are, connected with the 
institution, together with several half-tone pictures. 

1892. Ett Hundra Ar.; En Aterblick pa det Nittonde 
Seklet. C. F. Peterson, Chicago, 111. 

A large volume. Only the 6th chapter is devoted to the Sw^edish im- 
migration and biographies of noted Swedish-Americans. 

1892. Sweden and the Swedes. Hon. W. W. Thomas, 
Chicago, 111. 

The last two chapters contain some original matter in regard to Swed- 
en's commerce with the United States, the Swedish settlement on Dela- 
ware River, the Swedes in America in the nineteenth century, and a report 
of John Ericsson's funeral. 


1839. Sandfardig Beretning om Amerika. Ole Rynning, 
Kristiania, Norway. 

This little volume was the first book which was published iu the Norweerian 
language in regard to America. It was extensively read, and created quite a 
sensation which resulted in a heavy emigration from Norway to this country in 
the early forties, 

1844. Veiviser for Norske Emigranter. J. R. Reiersen, 
Kristiania, Norway. 

It is mainly an emigration guide, although the first part of the work con' 
tains some valuable matters in regard to the early Norwegians in this country. 

1846-. Beretning om Hauges Norsk Ev. Luth. Synode. 

It is doubtful if any statistics were issued, or even kept, before the reorgani- 
zation of the synod in 1875. Since that date annual reports, more or less imper- 
fect, have been printed. 

1849. Wagledning for Emigranter. Theodor Schytte, 
Stockholm, Sweden. 

This is an emigrant guide, but contains also a description of the condition of 
the Scandinavian settlements in America. 

1851. Walkomst-Helsning till den Swenska, Norska och 
Danska Emigranten. Rev. L. P. Esbjom, New York. 

Every evidence seems to indicate that this four-paged pamphlet was the first 
Swedish publication printed in America in the nineteenth century. It contains 
religious advice to the Scandinavian immigrants, with directions how to reach 
theSwedish settlementsin Illinois. Four thousand copies were published. 

1851-60. Minutes of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod 
of Northern Illinois. 

These reports contain statistics and other informations concerning the Swed- 
ish and Norwegian congregations connected with this organization. 

1852. Scandinavians in the Northwest. Rev. W. M. 
Reynolds, D. D. 

This article was published in the '^Evangelical Review." 

1853. The Mission of the Lutheran Church in America. 
Rev. S. W. Harkey, Springfield, 111. 

This pamphlet refers to the Sea adia avians in connection with church work. 


1853-. Beretning om det Ordentlige Synode-mode af 
Synoden for den Norsk-Evang.-Luth. Kirke i Amerika. 

It doas not appear that any re^lar church statistics were published by the 
Norwegian Synod until about 1863, and it is to be regretted that this conservatiTe 
organization has not issued any first-class reports. All other Norwegian and 
Danish Lutherans appear to have modeled their statistics after those of the 
Norwegian Synod, at least as to defects and omissions. Consequently^ none of 
them keep any record of the value of church property, and omit many other 
things of importance. All the reports of the Norwegian and Danish Lutherans 
are poorly classified and badly summed up. 

1853-55. Bref om Amerika till Hemmavarande Lands- 
man. C. E. O. Svalander, Halmstad, Sweden. 

It was published in two parts, and intended as an emigrant guide-book. 

1854. Protocol!, H411et vid ett Gemensamt Mote af 
Chicago och Mississippi Evang. Lutherska Conferensen i 

This is the first church report published in the Swedish language in America 
in the nineteenth century. It may be of interest to many people that in this 
pamphlet of a dozen pages, some space is devoted to the discussion of temper- 

1855-. Kirkelig Maanedstidende and Evangelisk Luth- 
ersk Kirketidende. Decorah, Iowa. 

The last mentioned magazine is a continuation of the first, both being the 
official organs of the Norwegian Synod, It contains a vast amount of historical 
data concerning aU the Scandinavian- American churches, especially as long as it 
was issued only monthly or semi-monthly. 

I860-. Protokoll af Skandinaviska Ev. Lutherska Au- 
gustana Synoden. 

This was the official name of the annual reports of the Augustana Synod for 
over thirty years. The statistical tables in the reports of this organization have 
always been and are master productions, covering every subject of church work, 
and having, perhaps, no superior in the world in the line of perfect statistics, 
other matters of importance are also included in these publications. Kev. 
Erland Carlsson was the man who first systematized this work. 

1862. Forhandlinger paa det 3die Skandinaviske Kirke- 
mode i Kristiania 29-31 Juli, 1861. 

It contains a lecture delivered by Rev. O. C. T. Andren about tLe Angnstana 


1863. Her Fremtrader atter en Skare af Troende Sjale. 
Kristiania, Norway. 

This little work contains a number of letters endorsingr the miBsionary labor 
of Elling Eielsen. The greneral bombast of the contents resembles the recom- 
mendations of a mnch advertised patent medicine. 

1865. Amerika og de Danskes Liv Herovre. Ivev. L. 
Jorgensen. Copenhagen, Denmark. 

This pamphlet is virtually valneless. 

1867. Hvad Jeg Oplevede under de Sex Forste Aar af 
Min Virksomhed i Amerika. Rev. C. I. P. Pedersen, Madison, 

The author gives an extensive review of the Norwegian Lutheran church 
disputes in Chicago during 1861-67. 

1867. Skandinaveme i de Forenede Stater og Canada. 
Johan Schroder, La Crosse, Wis. 

It is intended as an emigrant guide, but refers also to the Seandinavian set- 
tlements in the United States and Canada. 

1868. Historisk Fremstilling. Madison, Wis. 

This pamphlet contains a history of the disputes concerningr the slavery 
question which was agitated among the Norwegian Lutherans in 1861-8, espe- 
cially by Rev. C. L. Clausen and some Norwegian Synod ministers. It waa pub- 
lished under the auspices of the church council of the synod, and called forth 
Clausen's book "Gjenmale." 

1869. Gjenmale. Rev. C. L. Clausen, Chicago, 111. 

In this work the author defends himself in regard to his position on the 
slavery question, on which he could not agree with the majority of the ministers 
of the Norwegian Synod. 

1870. Ev. Lutherska Augustana Synoden i Nord-Amer- 
ika och dess Mission. Rev. E. Norelius, Lund, Sweden. 

A very concise and impartial history of the Augustana Synod. In many 
respects it is superior to the larger work by the same anthor. 

1870. Markelige Tildragelser. Rev. T. A. Torgerson, 
La Crosse, Wis. 

It deals only with some local church disputes. 


1870-89. Beretning om den Norsk-Dansk Evang. Luth. 

Most of these reports are, like those of other Norwegian Lutherans, rather 

1871. En Rejse i Amerika. Rev. A. C. L. Grove-Rasmus- 
sen, Odense, Denmark. 

The author traveled in this country in the interest of "TJdvalget," Denmark* 
and the above is a report of his investigation, which led to the establishment ol 
Lutheran missionary work among the Danes in this country. 

1872-. Referat af Forliaudlingeme ved Frikonferen- 
ser og Fallesmoder. 

A number of reports have been published in regard to meetings held by the 
various Norwegian-American Lutheran church associations for the purpose of 
uniting them or discussing certain subjects. Such reports have been issued con- 
cerning conferences held at Rock Prairie, Wis., 1872 ; St. Ansgar, Iowa, 18S1 ; 
Decorah, Iowa, 1881; Chicago, 111., 1885; WiUmar, Minn., 1887 and 1892; Lanes- 
bore, Minn., 1897 ; Austin, Minn., 1899, and no doubt at other places. 

1873. Anteckningar frS,n en Svensk Emigrants Yistelse 
i Amerika 1871-72. J. E. Wennstrom, Upsala, Sweden. 

1874. Aaben Erklaring. A. Weenaas and S. Oftedal, 
Minneapolis, Minn. 

This is one of the fiercest attacks upon the Norwegian Synod imaginable, 
being virtually a declaration of war, and it called forth numerous replies. 
Weenaas. in his book "Wisconsinismen," witbdrew his name from it; bat 
Oftedal never took back a single word in it, 

1875. Tale ved Femti-Aarsfesten for den Norske Ud- 
vandring til Amerika. Prof. R. B. Anderson, Chicago, 111. 

This small pamphlet contains very little concerning the Norwegian emi- 

1875-9. Kvartal-Skrift for den Norsk Lutherske Kirke 
i Amerika. G. Sverdrup and S. Oftedal, Minneapolis, Minn. 

This magazine contains some valuable articles in regard to the various 
Norwegian-American Lutheran churches. 

1876. Yore KIrkelige Modstanderes Vaaben. Rev. V. 
Koren, Decorah, Iowa. 

It cites quotations from A. Weenaas's book "Wisconsinismen,** as well as 
comments on them. 


1876. Vor Tids Muhamed. John Ahmanson, Omaha, 

The first two chapters contain a brief history of the beginning of Mormoo- 
ism in Denmark and Norway, and the immigration of some Scandinavians to 
Utah in 1856. 

1876. Om Absolutionen. Rev. N. C. Ylvisaker, Bergen, 

This pamphlet contains short definitions of the subject by various Nor- 

1876. Reseminnen frAn Amerika. C. J. N., Kristi- 
nehamn, S^?sreden. 

The author, Rev. C. J. Nyvall, who traveled in this country in 1875, refers to 
the religions condition among the Swedes in the United States. 

1876-93. ProtokoU af Metodist Episkopal Kyrkans 
Nordvestra Svenska Arskonferens, 

These reports of the Swedish Methodists in this country are fairly well pre- 
pared and quite complete. No statistics, however, are compiled concerning the 
annual appropriations which the Swedish-American Methodists have for many 
years received from the American Methodists, sometimes amounting to over 
$30,000 in one year. Complete information on this point may be found in the 
annual reports of the Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church. 
In comparison with other denominations, the Swedish Methodists value their 
church property too high. Since the division of the conference in 1893, their 
statistics have been very unsatisfactory. , But for most purposes, the reports of 
the Missionary Society can be safely consulted. 

1876-94. Nordisk Familjebok. Konversationslexikon 
och Realencyklopedi. Stockholm, Sweden. 

This masterly cyclopedia in eighteen volumes contains biographies of some 
* Scandinavian-Americans, especially such as have returned and settled in Scandi- 

navia. The article on emigration, "Utvandring," is one of the ablest on that 
subject that has ever appeared in any language, and is superior to those on the 
same subject in the English and American cyclopedias. It is boldly asserted 
that the early Scandinavian emigrants were mostly adventurers, unsuccessful 
individuals, and criminals ; but it is admitted that in later years the emigrants 
are the cream of the middle and working classes. In 1896 an addition to the 
original work was issued. 

1877. Frin Nya Verlden. Ernst Beckman, Stockholm 

Only a few pages refer to Swedish-Americans, and none of it is of any great 


1878. Minnen. Rev. J. A. Edgren, Chicago, 111. 

It contains an interesting autobiography of the author, as well as other 
matters of interest, especially to Swedish-American Baptists. 

1878. De Kirkelige Partier blandt vort Folk i Amerika. 
Rev. Y. Koren, Decorah, Iowa. 

A pamphlet giving an excellent review of the various Norwegian Lutheran 
church organizations in this country. 

1878. Om Splittelse i Kirken. Decorah, Iowa. 

In this pamphlet the predestination question is discussed. 

1878. Missourisynoden og den Norske Synode. Rev. 
O. Asperheim, Brooklyn, N. Y. 

This work was written, apparently, for the purpose of showing that the Nor- 
wegian Synod has been wrong in most of its disputes with other Lutheran 
organizations. Bat it contains also some other matters of historical value. 

1879. Trende Breve. De Forest, Wis. 

It deals with the schism of Hangers Synod and EUiug Eielsen in 1875, 

1879. Falskt Yidnesbyrd af Prof. A. Weenaas. Rev. B.J. 
Muus, Decorah, low^a. 

In this pamphlet the author defends the teachings of the Norwegian Synod 
against the attacks of Prof. Weenaas. 

1880. Om den Lutherske Kirke i Amerika. Rev. P. 
Andersen, Chicago, 111. 

This pamphlet refers mostly to the Norwegian Augustana Synod. 

1880—. Korsbaneret. Edited by various AugustanS, 
Synod clergymen, Rock Island, 111. 

This annual publication is vury valuable, containing an immense amount of 
historical and biographical information concerning the Augustana Synod and 
its men. 

1880-. Protokol af den Norsk- Danske Methodist Aars- 

These reports are fairly well prepared and quite complete. But no statistics 
are compiled concerning the annual appropriations which the Norwegian- 
Danish Methodists in this country have for many years received from the Amer- 
ican Methodists, sometimes amounting to over $20,000 in one year. Complete 


infoTmatioQ oa this subject, as well as oq many others, caa be secured by cod- 
Bultiug the annual reports of the Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church. In comparison with other denominations, the Norwegian-Danish 
Methodists value their church property too high. 

1881. Naadevalg-Striden. Prof. F. A. Schmidt, Chi- 
cago, 111. 

It contains lectures on predestination, and some historical facts concerning 
the Norwegian Lutherans during the great predestination controversy. 

1881. Celebration of the Decennial Anniversary of the 
Founding of New Sweden in Maine. Portland, Me. 

It contains a review of the Swedish colony in Maine, founded in 1870 by W 
W. Thomas, U. S. Minister to Sweden-Norway. 

1881-2. I Amerika. C. E. H. Gestrin, Stockholm, Sweden. 

The author resided in this conn try for twelve years, and refers to the Swedish- 

1882. The Scandinavian Immigration, Rev. W. K. 

This article appeared in *'The Lutheran Church Review" for Jan. and April, 
]882» and deals with the Northmen principally from a religions and statistical 

1882. Mormonismen. Rev. J. Telleen. 

This small pamphlet refers very briefly to the Scandinavian Mormons. 

1882. Fri Menighed i Fri Kirke. Svar paa de 30's Er- 
klaring. Prof Georg Sverdrup, Minneapolis, Minn. 

This pamphlet advocates individual and congregational liberty as against 
high church principles and practices. 

1883. Forhandlinger ved Synodalkonferensen i Chi- 

Most of the report is devoted to the position of Prof. F. A. Schmidt in regard 
to the predestination question. 

1883. Amerikanska Studier. Ernst Beckman, Stock- 
holm, Sweden. 

It is composed of two parts, one referring to the Swedes in America, and the 
other describing the press in the U. S. 


1883. Foredrag cm Amerika. Isidor Kjellberg, Stock- 
holm, Sweden. 

A small pamphlet referring to Swedish- American conditions. 

1884. Emigrantmissionen. Rev. R. Andersen, Brooklyn, 
N. Y. 

As an emigrant guide, and as a treatise on the Lutheran work among the 
Banish immigrants, it is considered to be quite valuable. 

1884. Den Gamle og Nye Retning. Rev. J. A. Bergh, 
Chicago, 111. 

This pamphlet ia a protest against the free, new, or loose tendency within the 
Norwegian-Danish Lutheran Conference. 

1884. Betragtninger og Meddelelser fra Amerika. Rev. 
P. C. Trandberg, Minneapolis, Minn. 

It is virtually an autobiography. 

1884-96. Beretning om det Danske Evangeliske Luth- 
erske Kiricesamfund. 

These reports do not contain any statistics until 1892, but after that time they 
are fairly complete. 

1885. Bidrag till Utvandringsfr^gan. Gustav Sund- 
barg, Upsala, Sweden. 

This large volume is a statistical compilation in regard to the emigration 
from Sweden, a subject on which the author is recognized as a high authority. 

1885-. Svenska Ey. Missions-Forbundets Arsberattelse. 

The statistics of the Swedish Mission Covenant of America are undoubtedly 
among the worst in Christendom. Up to 1895 unsuccessful attempts were made 
to include in the annual reports the ordinary church statistics, but since that 
date only the number of ministers and congregations have been mentioned, the 
former being about twice as numerous as the latter. 

1886. Minne. Rock Island, 111. 

This pamphlet contains orations and poems in Swedish, English, German, 
Latin, and Greek, all delivered in honor of Br. T. N. Hasselquist on his seventy- 
first birthday. 

1886. Svenska Kyrkans Historia efter Reformationen. 
C. A. Cornelius, Stockbolm, Sweden. 

The second volume of this valuable work conlains a history of Eric Janson^s 


sect and of the Angnstana Synod, and refers to many other matters in connection 
with the Swedish emigration. 

1886. Hvad Jeg Vil. Rev. P. C. Trandberg, Chicago, 111. 

It is a general harangue about himself, the Lutherans, and the Congrega- 

1887. Fra mit Besog blandt Mormoneme. Rev. And- 
reas Mortensen, Kristiania, Norway. 

The latter part of the booli: refers to the Scandinavian Mormons. 

1887. Skal der Blive Fred? Rev. H. Halvorsen, Chicago. 

This pamphlet treats of the disputes in regard to predestination 

1888-9. Beretning om det Antimissouriske Broderskab. 

These reports do not contain any statistics at all, and apparently are of littls 

1888-. Statistik ofver Svenska Baptist Forsamlingama. 

These reports of the Swedish-American Baptists are fairly well prepared and 
quite complete. No statistics, however, are compiled concerning the annual 
appropriations which the Swedish Baptists in this country for many years have 
received from the American Baptists, sometimes amounting to about $25,000 in 
one year. Some information on this point can be secured in the annual reports 
of the American Baptist Home Mission Society. 

1889. Vitus Bering. Peter Lauridsen, translated by 
Prof. Julius E. Olson, Chicago, 111. 

This is a biography of the great Banish explorer, the discoverer of Bering 
Strait, who was iu the service of Peter the Great. 

1889. Address. Rev. C. A. Swensson, Topeka, Kan. 

This pamphlet refers to the Swedish-American institutions of learning. 

1889. Minnesotas Historia. Robert Gronberger, Min- 
neapolis, Minn. 

This volume contains nothing in regard to Scandinavian-American history, 
except biographies and pictures of about sixty Scandinavians in Minnesota. 

1889. Ett HaMr i Nya Verlden. Alexandra Gripen- 
berg, Helsingfors, Finland. 

The authoress was a delegate to the international woman's congress at 
Washington, D. C, in 1888, and afterwards traveled extensively through the 
United States, visiting and describing some of the Finnish and Swedish settle- 
ments, especially in Pennsylvania and California. 


1890. Vid Hemmets Hard. Rev. C. A. Swensson, Chi- 
cago, 111. 

This immense volume is, like most of Swensson's productiona, virtually value- 
less to an bistoriaUf often being incorrect and misleading. The same is true of 
his books "I Sverige" (1890), "Forgat Mig Ej" (1893), and "Again in Svpeden" 
(1898). Yet they may be consulted, as several subjects relating to Svpedish- 
American history are referred to. 

1890. Minnen fr4n en Fard genom Amerika. Axel E. 
Lindvall, Karlskrona, Sweden. 

The author traveled through this country, and refers to the Swedish-Ameri- 

1890. Frugter fra Northfield-Skolen, og lidt fra Augs- 
burg Seminar. M. Shirley, Minneapolis, Minn. 

This pamphlet is a ma^s of rambling and bitter tirades against some prom- 
inent members of the United Church. 

1890. Mindeblade eller Otte Aar i Amerika. Rev. A. 
Weenaas, Volden, Norway. 

The author gives an historical review of the religious condition of the Nor- 
wegian-Americans during 1868-76, especially in regard to the separation of the 
Swedes and Norwegians in the Augustana Synod and the formation of the Nor. 
wegiaU'DaBish Conference. 

1890. Afskeden ogdens Grunde. Rev. P. C. Trandberg, 
Chicago, 111. 

It contains something concerning the work of the Congregationalists among 
the Scandinavians in America. 

1890. Festtaler. Chicago, 111. 

This pamphlet contains the speeches delivered at the dedication of Luther 
College in 1890. 

1890. Hvad den Norske Synode Har Villet og fremdeles 
Vil. Rev. V. Koren, Decorah, Iowa. 

This pamphlet contains the main principles of what the Norwegian Synod 

1890-. Beretning om den Forenede Norsk Lutherske 
Kirke i Amerika, 

The statistical tables in the reports of the United Church treat of about half 
as many topics as those of the Augustana Synod, but the former occupy almost 


twice as much space as the latter. In half a dozen diSerent places, the Tarions 
subjects have beea tablulated ia alphabetic order according to the names of the 
pastors, covering nearly 150 pages. All of which could easily have been put 
under two headings, thereby saving much space. Besides, on account of the 
statistics being classified on a single basis, it is very difficult to find any informa- 
tion in regard to a certain congregation if the name of the officiating clergyman 
is not known. To ascertain the strength of the United Church in a given state 
would require as much labor as to search in a waste-basket for a. pin. Many of 
the ministers report as members all the children they have baptized, notwith- 
standing that the parents do not belong to the church, and that some of these 
children will never attend any service. In fact it is impossible to tell the strength 
of the United Church until their methods of keeping statistics have been thor- 
oughly reformed. 

1891, Amerika. K. Zilliacus, Chicago, 111. 

This is only an emigration guide, full of patent medicine advertisements. 

1891. Svenskame i Minnesota. Axel A. Ahlroth, St. 
Paul, Minn. 

Two small pamphlets, containing historical matter regarding several of the 
Swedish settlements in Minnesota. The work is unreliable. The writer has 
quoted several pages from ^'Svenskame i St. Croix<dalen, Minnesota,'''' by Bobert 
Gronberger, without crediting the latter, or in any way indicating that it is not 
the writer^s own production. 

1891. Den Stora Skilnaden emellan Svenska Stats- 
kyrkan och Augustana Synoden. Rev. 0. A. Toffteen, Min- 
neapolis, Minn. 

This pamphlet contains a general harangue about the merit of the Apostolic 
Succession and the shortcomings of the Augnstana Synod. 

1891. Hand-Book of Lutheranisra. Rev. J. D. Roth, 
Utica, N. Y. 

It refers to the Scandinavian-American Lutherans. 

1891. En Sommer i Amerika. Anton Nielsen, Odense, 

Only a few pages in the beginning of this small book refer to the Danish- 

1892. Svenskhet i Amerika. Prof. D. Nyvall, Minne- 
apolis, Minn. 

A small pamphlet referring to various matters concerning Swedish-Americans. 


1892. Amerika-bok. Isidor Kjellberg, Linkoping, 

The author traveled in this country, and his pamphlet refers briefly to some 
Swedish'American affairs. 

1892. Yalda Skrifter. John A. Enander, LL. D., Chi- 
cago, 111. 

This volume contains some historical information regarding the Swedish- 
Americans, especially in regard to the Swedish-American press. 

1892. Brydninger i den Forenede Kirke. Rev. K. B. 
Birkeland, Minneapolis, Minn. 

It is written from the standpoint of a Free Church man, and contains a 
history of the disputes in the United Church up to the time of the publication of 
the book. 

1892. Geschichte der Lutherischen Kirche in Amerika. 
Prof. A. L. Graebner, St. Louis, Mo. 

It refers to the Scandinavian-American Lntherans. 

1892-3. Aterblick ofVer den Fria Missionsverksamheten 
bland Svenskame i Amerika. Rev. C. M. Youngquist. 

This valuable article, ffiving a complete history of the Swedish Mission 
movement in this country, was published in "Hem-Missionaren" in 1892-3. 

1892-5. The Alumnus, or the Augustana Journal. Rock 
Island, 111. 

This magazine, when issued monthly, contained some valuable matters in 
regard to the Augustana Synod and its men. 

1893. Jubel-Album. Revs. C. A. Swensson and L. G. 
Abrahamson, Chicago, 111. 

This large volame contains some valuable historical matters conceriiiDg: the 
Angustana Synod. It has been severely criticised by some of the leading men of 
said organization. 

1893. Lutherans in All Lands, Rev. J. N. Lenker, A. M., 
Milwaukee, Wis. 

Contains a great deal of valuable historical and statistical matter in regard 
to the Scandinavian Lutherans in all countries- 


1893. Courts of Conciliation. Nicolay Grevstad. 

Only the last part of this excellent article, published in "The Atlantic 
Monthly," November, 1893, relates to the Norwegians in America, 

1893. Kort Uddrag af den Norske Synodes Historic. 
RcY. Jacob Aall Ottesen, Decorah, Iowa. 

• A small pamphlet, but contains a fairly complete history of the Norwegian 

1893. Blik paa Amerikanske Forhold. H. I. S. Astrup, 
Kristiania, Norway. 

A small work of little importance. 

1893. Augsburgs Historic. Rev. C. Saugstad, Min- 
neapolis, Minn. 

It contains a brief history of Augsbnrg Seminary, 

1893. A History of the Evangelical Lutheran Church 
in the United States. Rev. H. E. Jacobs, New York. 

It refers to the Scandinavian Lutheran associations in this country. 

1893—. Beretningom Augsburgs Venner and Friklrken. 

In these reports no attempt has been made in regard to statistics, excepting 
that everything is avoided that might give a cine to the strength of the organiza- 

1894. En Emigrants Resa. A. G. Carlsson, Chicago, 111. 

The author's observations are narrated, but the pamphlet is of little value. 

1894. Ar Episkopalkyrkans Mission bland Va.ra Lands- 
man i Amerika Berattigad? Dr. C. A. Blomgren, Rock 
Island, 111. 

This pamphlet is a protest against the attempt of the Episcopalians to 
proselyte among the Swedes. 

1894. Hemlandstoner. K. H. Gez. von Scheele, Stock- 
holm, Sweden. 

It contains many valuable facts concerning the Augustana Synod and the 

1894. Bland Svenskar och Yankees. Hj. Cassel, Stock- 
holm, Sweden. 

The author, being a newspaper editor and spending much of his time among 


the Swedes in St. Paul, Minn,, has painted in fine colors the virtties and faults of 
the people he came in contact with, Ernst Skarstedt says : "This author has 
given a better description of the religious, social, and political conditions of 
the SwedesJ residing in the American cities than any other writer." 

1894. Minde fra Jubelfesteme paa Koshkonong. De- 
corah, Iowa. 

This volume gives much information about the Norwegian Synod, especially 
in regard to its work in Wisconsin, In it is published Kav, A, Bredesen^s 
address, containing, besides other matters, an excellent summing up of the 
peculiar social conditions prevalent among the Norwegian pioneers. 

1894. A Norwegian-American College. Prof. Andrew 

This article, published in "The Midland Monthly," June, 1894, contains a good 
history of Luther College, 

1894. Det Femtende Regiment. O. A. Buslett, Decorah, 

This is the most extensive historical and biographical work ou the Scandi- 
navian Begiment that has yet appeared. But it is not compiled with the best 
care and judgment. 

1894. Den Norsk-Danske Methodismes Historic. Paa 
Begge Sider Havet. Rev. A. Haagensen, Chicago, 111. 

It is supposed to be a complete history of the Norwegian-Danish Methodist 
churches, but a large portion of the book is, virtually, only a reproduction of the 
annual church reports of the Norwegian-Danish Methodists in this country. 
Consequently, it is not a critical or carefully prepared production. 

1894. Thomas Brown's Scandinavian Newspaper Di- 
rectory. H. O. Oppedale, Chicago, 111. 

It contains quite an extensive historical review of several Scandinavian- 
American newspapers, as well as some other matters. Some of the informations, 
* however, are not very reliable. 

1894. Den Forenede Kirke. Rev. T, H. Dahl, Stough- 
ton, Wis. 

It is written from the standpoint of the "majority," and contains a history 
of the disputes in the United Church up to the time of the publication of the 


1894. The Norwegians in the United States. Nils P. 
Haugen, Washington, D. C. 

This speech, containing some valuable hints, w»s delivered at the World's 
Fair in Chicago, in 1893, 

1894. Redegjorelse for Mine Anker mod Prof. H. Bergs- 
land. Rev. 0. S. Meland, Red Wing, Minn. 

The object of this pamphlet is to prove Prof, Bergsland's incapacity, and 
God is called upon to witness the assertions. Personal spite and religions bom- 
bast are the predominant features of this publication, 

1894-8. Legal documents in regard to Augsburg Semi- 
nary YS. the United Norwegian Church, Minneapolis, Minn. 

This collection includes various published briefs and decisions, some of 
which give a minute history of some of the Norwegian Lutheran associations 
and of Augsburg Seminary, 

1895. Den Norsk-Lutherske Kirkes Grundlaggelse i 
Amerika. Rev. S. M. Krogness, Kristiania, Norway. 

This article was published in "Luthersk Kirketidende" for January 26th, 

1895, and appears to be quite valuable. 

1895. Gjensvartil Pastor Melandsi?ede^ore/se. Prof. 
H. H. Bergsland, Red Wing, Minn. 

This is an answer to Eev. O. S, Meland's attack upon the author, 

1895. The First Chapter of Norwegian Immigration 
(1821-1840). Prof. R. B. Anderson, Madison, Wis'. 

The main value of this volume consists of a somewhat minute information 
in regard to the doings of each individual of the Sloop party and his or her 
descendants. A large portion of the work is virtually a translation of Prof. 
Svein Nilsson's articles, published in "Billed-Magazin" in 1868-70. The optimistic 
view which the author takes of the Sloop party is hardly, it seems, warranted by 
facts. From an historical and literary point of view, the book is lacking in 
generalization, and an nnexpectedly large amount of space is devoted to the 
author himself and his relatives, 

1895. Metodismen i Sverige. Rev. T. M. Erikson, 
Stockholm, Sweden, 

This voJ.pme refers also to the Swedish Methodists in thisconntry. 


1895. Svenska Metodismen i Amerika. N. M. Liljegren, 
N. O. Westergreen, och C. G. Wallenius, Chicago, 111. 

This is quite a large volume, and gives a detailed accouat of nearly all 
Swedish-American Methodist congregations and clergymen. If the work had 
been better generalized, it would have been more valuable. As has already been 
stated on pages 209-10 ia this volume, the authors have no authority for asserting 
that Dr. C. M. Wrangel was a Methodist. 

1895. Enskilda Skrifter af Pastor A. A. Sward. Ernst 
Skarstedt, San Francisco, Cal. 

This pamphlet contains some brilliant expressions concerning the merits and 
shortcomings of some of the Swedish-American poets. 

1896. The Scandinavian Contingent. Prof. K. C. 

This article was published in "The Atlantic Monthly," May, 1896, and is 
well written, but contains nothing new concerning the Scandinavians. 

1896. Afholdssagens Historic. Prof. J. L. Nydahl, 
Minneapolis, Minn. 

The author does not pretend to give a full history of the Scandinavian- 
American temperance movement, yet abo it one-sixth of the volume is devoted to 
that subject. 

1896, Amerika i Vor Tid. Carl W. Moller, Helsingor, 

It is only a large emigration guide. 

1896. Knute Nelson. L. A. Stenholt, Minneapolis, Minn. 

It contains an extensive biography of Enute Nelson, which the author claims 
is based upon the authority of Knute Nelson himself. 

1896. Immigration. Knute Nelson, Washington, D. C. 

This speech, delivered in the United States Senate, contains some valuable 
bints in regard to immigration in general. 

1896. Samfunds Haandbog. Rev. J. C. Jensson, Min- 
neapolis, Minn. 

This volume enumerates the institutions conaected, directly or indirectly, 
with the United Norwegian Lutheran Church. 

1896. A History of the Danes in America. John H. 
Bille, Madison, Wis. 

This pamphlet is rather incomplete and sometimes unfair ; but at the same 


time it is very valnablOf being the only work of its kind, containiDgr also a biblio- 

1896. Nodvendige Bemarkninger. H. Hjertaas and H, 
H. Bergsland, Red Wing, Minn. 

It is one of those numerous Norwegian pamphlets dealing with theological 
and personal disputes. 

1896. Bihang till Minnen, Rev. Gustaf Unonius, Stock- 
holm, Sweden. 

This pamphlet is a reply to some of the statements made by Rev, E. Norelins 
in his large history of the Swedish Lutherans in America. Unonius accuses the 
latter author of unfairness, partiality, and misrepresentation. In the first num- 
ber of "Tidskrift," 1898, Norelius answers Unonius, and the two old men, both on 
the brink of eternity, shake their fists at each other across the Atlantic ocean. 

1896-. Beretning om den Forenede Danske Evangelisk- 
Lutherske Kirke. 

The statistics of this organization are very incomplete and badly generalized 

1897. Fra Amerika. Henrik Cabling, Copenhagen, 

These two large volumes were written in haste by a Danish editor who 
» traveled in this country. From an historical standpoint, the work is more 
conspicuous for its faults than for its merits. Nor do the hundred odd pages in 
the second volume, dealing with the Norwegians in America and written by P. 
Groth, Ph. D., appear to be any better. The latter writer has translated several 
of our biographies of Scandinavians in Minnesota, without giving us proper 
credit. A Swedish translation by Petrus Hedberg was published in Stockholm, 
in 1898. 

1897. Det Norske Luther College. Prof. Gisle Bothne, 
Decorah, Iowa. 

Only a small portion of this volume of nearly 500 pages is an original produc- 
tion, the remaining part of the book being a reprint of some catalogues and 
other works. Apparently, this publication has not been prepared with care and 
good judgment, although the author, who is considered to be a man of ability, 
has been working on it for over ten years. Only fourteen pages are devoted to 
the biography of Prof. L. Larsen, who for over a third of a century has been the 
soul of Luther College, and nine-tenths of the biography relates to the celebra- 
tion of his twenty-five years' jubilee, in lS8i ; but some twenty pages are devoted 
to men who have been connected with the institution only for a few years. The 
author quotes liberally from the expressionaof different individuals, but not a 
single one of Prof. Larson's utterances has been mentioned, and virtually no clue 
is given In regard to the trials, triumphs, and make-up of this important man* 


who, it aeema, should be treated at consideiable length in a history of an insti- 
tution of "which he has been the chief man ever since it was founded. 

1897-. Valkyrian. New York. 

This excellent magazine, published by 0. K. Johansen and edited by E. 
Sundell, contains several articles, in relation to the Swedish-Americans, of great 
historical and literary value, 

1897. vara Pennfaktare. Ernst Skarstedt, San Fran- 
cisco, Cal. 

This volume contains biographies of nearly all the Swedish-American editors 
and writers, living and dead, with specimens of their productions. It is virtually 
the only attempt ever made to produce a history of the Swedish-American litera- 
ture, a subject on which the author is undoubtedly the highest authority. The 
introductory chapter, especially, gives an excellent and masterly summing up of 
the Swedish-American literature. 

1898. Pennteckningar och Reseskildningar. F. A. Lind- 
strand, Chicago, 111. 

It contains some sketches in regard to Swedish-American history. 

1898. Svenskame i Worcester, 1868-98. Hj. Nilson and 
Eric Knutson, Worcester, Mass. 

Contains an historical and biographical review of the Swedes in Worcester. 

1898. Red Wing Seminarium. M. G. Hanson og H. H. 
Elstad, Red Wing, Minn. 

This pamphlet contains a brief and good history of the school of Hauge's 

1898. Norge i Amerika. L. A. Stenholt, Minneapolis, 

The presentation is somewhat original, but otherwise no new historical mat- 
ters have been produced. 

1898. Kort Udsigt over det Lutherske Kirkearbeide 
blandt Nordmandene i Amerika. Prof. Tli. Bothne, Chicago, 

This ia the first attempt ever made to write a critical history of the different 
Norwegian-Americaa Lutheran organizations. Considering the many strifes 
which have divided the Norwegian- American Lutherdom into different factions* 
in which some of the ablest minds and some of the most stupid simpletons have 
participated, it is doubtful if any mortal ever can rightly interpret the pas- 


slons and motives of all the men who have fonght theae theological battles ; and 
the author, as he says himself, ia not even a theologian. The constant harangne 
againat the oiBoial clasa of Norway is out of place in a church history ; and the 
baneful influence which this class has, according to the author, exercised upon 
Norwegian-American church affairs, is undoubtedly much exaggerated. Every- 
thing considered, it ia no wonder that the book has been saverely criticised, even 
by men who can speak with authority, and many errors have been pointed out. 
Yet the work appears to have been written in a manly and fearless spirit, and 
deserves to be carefully studied by persona who are interested in Norwegian. 
American church history. 

1898-. Tidskrift. Edited by Dr. E. Norelius, Rock Island, 

The reproduction of historical documents in relation to Swedish-Lutheran 
congregations, which existed before the Augustana Synod was organized, in 1860, 
appears to be the main object of thia magazine, although the first number con- 
tains a lengthy discussion in regard to Bev. Gr. Unonius. 

1898. History of tlie Swedish Baptists in Sweden and 
America. Capt. Gustavus W. Schroeder, New York. 

This is the first work of the kind that has appeared so far, but only about 
one-fifth of the book deals with the Swedish Baptists. Throughout moat of the 
remaining 250 pagea the author carpa at the religious, political, and social con- 
ditions of the Swedish people. 



1898. Fr4n Canada. Rev. Svante Udden, Rock Island, 

This pamphlet gives a history of the work of the Swedish Lutherans in 

1898, Sverige i Amerika. C. F. Peterson, Chicago, 111. 

This large volume is more of a history of civilization in regard to the 
Swedish-Americans than a history of facts, being about the only attempt ever 
made in that line. It contains also a number of biographies and some statistical 
tables ; the latter, however, are not very accurate. Most of the chapters dealing 
with Swedish-American churches, schools, laoguage, press, arts, political infla- 
ence, etc., constitute a masterly and original presentation of those subjects. 

Autobiography of Rev. A. Cedarholm, 

This is a small pamphlet translated from the Swedish language into English, 
by Mrs. Caroline Cedarholm, It contains no date or place of publication. Eev. 
A. Cedarholm appears to have been one of the early Swedish Methodist mission- 
aries, both in the American Northwest and in Sweden, The worlc is written in 
the most unsystematic manner imaginablOt and as a specimen of religious 
enthusiasm and fanaticism it is valuable. 

Historical Review of tlie Scandinavians in 

— BY — 

0. N. NELSON. 

Minnesota occupies the exact center of the North Ameri- 
can continent, being located midway between the Atlantic 
and Pacific oceans, and between Hudson Bay and the Gulf 
of Mexico. In area it is the ninth state in the Union, con- 
taining about 84,000 square miles, or nearly fifty-four mil- 
lion acres, being half as large as Sweden and six times the 
size of Denmark. There are, it is estimated, ten thousand 
lakes in the state, and nearly four million acres of land is 
covered with water. Minnesota has numerous rivers and 
water-courses which drain the country, make navigation 
practicable, and furnish power for manufacturing purposes. 
One of the w^orld's greatest rivers, the Mississippi, rises in 
the northern part of Minnesota. The natural resources of 
the state are great and various, mineral and timber abound, 
the soil is rich and productive, the scenery is beautiful and 


It may be said that the history of Minnesota commenced 



yesterday. About 200 years ago the Jesuits visited the state, 
but at the beginning of the nineteenth century not a single 
settlement of the whites existed. In 1823 the first steam- 
boat ascended the Mississippi as far as Fort Snelling, which 
w^as just then built ; yet, for years after, the savage Indians 
^vere, virtually, the sole occupiers of the land on w^hich now 
over one and a half million civilized people dw^ell. In 1850 
there were only 6,000 inhabitants in the state. 

But if the history is brief, the development has been 
rapid, and the Scandinavians have, during the whole period, 
been powerfiil agents in developing the natural resources and 
promoting the intellectual and religious w^elfare of the state. 
The marvelous material development of the state is largely 
due to the industrious Scandinavian immigrants. Their great 
love and fitness for farming, their frugality and energy, have 
subdued a wilderness and made it inhabitable for civilized 
people. It is true that the Northmen have been the greatest 
gainers themselves, for as a general thing they arrived poor, 
while they now often live in wealth and splendor. Yet a 
state, or a nation as a whole, is always benefited by the 
prosperity of its citizens. And an American educator, who 
has made special study of the Scandinavians in the North- 
west, believes that he can prove that in counties where many 
Scandinavians have settled, a more rapid material develop- 
ment has occurred than in counties occupied by other 
nationalities. His conclusion is perhaps correct. At any 
rate, the state and the coming generations are under great 
obligations to the Northern immigrants, who by struggle, 
hard toil, sufiering, and self-sacrifice laid the material, social, 
political, intellectual, and religious foundations of the State 


of Minnesota ; and who, when the Civil War threatened to 
destroy the nation, enlisted in the defense of the Union and 
of human freedom. 

As it is utterly impossible to give the fall facts concern- 
ing all the Scandinavian settlements, or even of one-half of 
them, only a few of the earliest will be mentioned. At the 
end of this article, how^ever, the population of each county 
has been enumerated, which maybe of some value in tracing 
the migratory movements. But it is to be regretted that 
the state census reports for 1865 and 1885 did not enumer- 
ate the various nationalities in the different counties of Min- 
nesota, and most of the national census reports are also 
defective in this respect. 

Danish. The man who established the first bank in 
Minnesota, in 1853, was a Dane, Dr. C. W. W. Borup, who 
settled permanently in St. Paul, in 1848, although he un- 
doubtedly had been in the state years before that time, 
having been in the far West before 1830. The well-known 
Rev. C. L. Clausen is said to have visited that part of Min- 
nesota w^here St. Cloud now is located, in company with a 
dozen Norwegians, in 1850. The biographies of both these 
important men can be found in this volume. But no Danish 
settlement seems to have been started in the state very 
early, as in 1850, according to the United States census, 
there were only one Dane in Minnesota, and 170 ten years 
later. Since 1880, however, their number has materially in- 
creased, and in 1900 there were in the neighborhood of 
40,000 Danish-bom or having Danish parents within the 

Norwegian. It is claimed that several Norwegians 


settled below St. Paul on both sides of the Mississippi river 
in 1851. In 1852 and 1853, ho-wever, the Norwegians com- 
menced to settle in Houston and Fillmore counties, and 
Tosten Johnson and Hans Valder were among the very first 
Norwegian settlers in Minnesota. According to the United 
States census, there were, in 1850, seven Norwegians in the 
state, and they numbered nearly 10,000 ten years later. 
Since they have greatly increased, and undoubtedly have 
exercised a greater power and influence in the commercial 
and public affairs of the state than any other single foreign 
nationality. In several counties they are the controlling 
element in regard to business, politics, and society. South 
of an imaginary line drawn due w^est from the Twin Cities, 
there is hardly a single city or village of over 500 inhabit- 
ants in w^hich there is not some Norwegian merchant or 
business man. With some exceptions, especially in the dis- 
tricts lying between Minneapolis and Willmar and betw^een 
St. Paul and Duluth, where the Swedes greatly predominate, 
this is also true of other portions of the state. There must 
be at least 300,000 Norwegians of the first and second gen- 
erations residing in Minnesota in 1900. 

Swedish. One of the first pioneers and Protestant mis- 
sionaries among the Indians in Minnesota was a Swede, 
Jacob Falstrom, w^ho came to the state before 1819, 
in which year Fort Snelling was established ; and, although 
he did little or nothing in promoting civilization because he 
had degenerated into savagery himself, yet he was a noted 
character. He was the Erst Northman in the Northwest. 
The first Swedish settlement in the state was commenced 
at Marine, Washington county, in 1850, by Oscar Roos and 


two other Swedes. Dr. E. Norelius, in his great work, 
De Svenaka Luterska Forsamlingarnas och Svensk- 
arnes Historia i Amerika, asserts that the first Swedish 
settlers arrived in 1851; this, however, is a mistake. Both 
Roos himself and Svenskarne i St. Croi^-dalen, Minne- 
sota — the latter is a small but excellent pamphlet by Robert 
Gronberger — contradict Norelius. By settlers, in this con- 
nection, we refer especially to those who either located in 
certain places in company with other Northmen, or tried to 
form Scandinavian colonies there. Falstrom and Borup 
were traders and adventurers, not settlers. 

It may be of interest to notice that a family from the 
neighborhood of Motala, Sweden, made a trip exclusively 
by boats from that place to Taylor's Falls as early as 
1850—51, making one of the most remarkable journeys ever 
performed by a Scandinavian immigrant in the nineteenth 
century. It took eight weeks to cross from Gothenburg to 
New Orleans, and when the party reached St. Louis they 
were destitute and starving, but at this juncture they met 
the famous Jenny Lind, who assisted them so they could 
proceed to their destination. 

In no state in the Union, with the probable exception of 
Illinois, have the Swedes played such an important part as 
they have done in Minnesota. This they have done mostly 
because they have been more numerous than the Swedes in 
any other state. According to the United States census 
there were four Swedes in Minnesota in 1850, twenty years 
later they numbered over twenty thousand, and in 1900 
there must be at least 280,000 Swedes of the first and 
second generations in the state. Excepting the Germans, 


the Sw^edish-bom people in the state are more numerous 
than any other foreign-bom nationaHty, but the Norwegians 
outnumber them by about 20,000 when both the first and 
second generations are taken into account. 


It is impossible to determine the causes w^hich have been 
operative in directing the Northern immigration to Minne- 
sota. The great resources of agriculture, timber, and min- 
ing ; the varied and beautifiil scenery — all of which resemble 
the resources and scenes of the North — might have had some- 
thing to do with the movement. The climate of Minnesota, 
on the other hand, is extremely dry, and often severe, while 
the climate of the Scandinavian countries, on the w^hole, is 
moist and temperate ; consequently that could be no induce- 
ment. But the chief reason has been, perhaps, the same as 
that which directed the movement towards the Northwest 
in general, namely, the Scandinavian immigration on a large 
scale and the opening of the state for settlement occurred 
about the same time. Then add the great impulse and the 
direction which the early Scandinavian pioneers gave to the 
whole movement, and the question is undoubtedly solved. 
Such well-known pioneers as Col. H. Mattson and Rev. E. 
Norelius have done a great deal in directing the Swedish 
immigration towards the state. The Danish-Norwegian- 
American historical literature is very limited, in comparison 
with the Swedish, consequently it is no easy task, on account 
of lack of materials, to determine who were the real leaders 
in directing the Norwegian immigration into the state. 
F. S. Christensen undoubtedly did much to draw the atten- 


tion of the Danes towards Minnesota. But the honor and 
credit of setthng the state with a good class of people does 
not belong exclusively to one or a few, but to hundreds and 
thousands of Scandinavian immigrants who induced their 
relatives and friends to join them. 

III. The Civil and Spanish Wars. 

At the outbreak of the Civil War, Colonel Hans Mattson 
organized, in Goodhue county. Company D, which became 
part of the Third Regiment of Minnesota. This company, 
containing about 100 men, was composed exclusively of 
Scandinavians. Not a single one of them had been drafted, 
nor did any of them desert. But the Northmen who en- 
listed in that company are small in number in comparison 
with the total number of Scandinavians from the state who 
fought against the Rebellion. According to the Annual 
Report of the Adjutant General of the State of 
Minnesota, published in 1866, not less than 1,500 North- 
men from the state participated in the defense of the Union, 
and fought against the enslavement of men. Of these, 
about 25 were Danes, 800 Norwegians, and 675 Swedes. 
As the Norwegians were more than twice as numerous in 
the state at that time as the Swedes, it is evident that the 
latter nationality enlisted in much greater proportion than 
the former. In numerous instances the nativity of the sol- 
diers is omitted ; and it is not easy to count correctly all the 
names in such publications ; hence it is fair to estimate that 
2,000 Scandinavians from Minnesota enlisted under the 
Stars and Stripes. According to the United States census of 
1860, Minnesota had a population of 172,000. Twenty- 


three thousand soldiers, or one-eighth of the total popula- 
tion of the state, enlisted under the Union flag ; while at the 
same time one out of every six Scandinavians in Minnesota, 
as -well as in Wisconsin, fought for his adopted country. 

The state of Minnesota has the distinguished honor of 
having offered the first volunteer regiment to the federal 
government and of having enlisted the first volunteer soldier 
in the United States. The Scandinavians in the state flew 
to arms at the very beginning of hostities. Nearly fifty 
Northmen served in the First Regiment, and more than 
three ,times that number fought in connection with the 
Second Regiment, in which A. R. Skaro, a Norwegian, was 
captain of Company E. But excepting him and Col. H. 
Mattson, not a . IBffl? S candinavian from Minnesota rose to 
the position even of captaincy, although several held minor 

Attempts were made in Minnesota, chiefly through the 
efforts of Christian Brandt, to muster into service a full- 
fledged Scandinavian regiment at the outbreak of the Span- 
ish War in 1898, but the regiment was not accepted by the 
authorities, and the undertaking came to naught. About 
ninety Danes, five hundred Svredes and Norwegians, equally 
divided between the two nationalities, and a few Icelanders 
enlisted in the four volunteer regiments which the state fur- 
nished. Many other persons bom in this country of Scan- 
dinavian parents also participated, but their number cannot 
be ascertained. One person out of every three hundred in 
the state enlisted against the Spaniards, and about one out 
of every four hundred of the Scandinavian-bom individuals 
was engaged in that occupation. Minnesota supphed 5,313 


soldiers, among -whom were some influential Northmen, 
notably John Lind, afterwards governor of the state. 

IV. Political Influence. 

The Northmen have always exercised a great influence 
upon the political afiairs of the state. They have often been 
able to run politics according to their own sweet will, not 
because they have specially excelled in intelligence or politi- 
cal sagacity, but on account of their numerical strength. 
There is no reason to assume that they, on an average, are 
brighter than the Northmen in other portions of the Union; 
yet most states might safely try to manage their politics 
without much regard to the Scandinavian-Americans. In 
Minnesota such an attempt would wreck' any party or 
poUtician; and the real or supposed hostility to the Scandi- 
navians on the part of the Republican candidate for gov- 
ernor in 1898, was one of the causes which defeated him by 
over 20,000 votes, although the rest of the state ticket 
went Republican by about 40,000 majority. Many of the 
Scandinavian politicians in the state are very ordinary 
mortals. Some of them cannot write a correct letter either 
in their own language or in English. It applies to the 
Scandinavians, as w^ell as to the other nationalities, of 
course, including the native Americans, what a member of 
the state legislature said on the floor of the house of repre- 
sentatives: "The first I came here I wondered how I got 
here, but'the longer I stay the more I wonder how the rest of 
you got here." For it is certainly a surprise to some of the 
Scandinavian politicians themselves and to everybody else 
"how they got there." There are only a few of the 255 


Scandmavians who have represented their districts in the 
two bodies of the state legislature that have had more than 
a common school education — some of them have not even 
had that — although many of them are men of more than 
ordinary ability. For several years past the so-called 
leader of the house of representatives has been J. F. Jacob- 
son, of Lac Qui Parle county, a coarse-grained, boisterous, 
uneducated, bankrupt individual, who "among his col- 
leagues was feared rather than trusted." In later years, 
however, there has been considerable improvement in regard 
to the Scandinavian legislators. 

We, of course, do not in any sense intend to say or indi- 
cate that the Scandinavian politicians in Minnesota have 
not been, both in regard to educational qualifications and in 
regard to natural abilities, equal to any other politicians 
in the state. On the contrary, they have, perhaps, been 
superior to many others, especially as they have had experi- 
ence in more than one country, w^hich ought to have a 
tendency to make a person broad-minded. And certainly 
some of them have made a most excellent record during 
their political career, and their names are inseparably con- 
nected with the history of the state and nation. Others, 
again, have received the highest scholastic training both in 
the North and here. 

Minnesota was organized as a territory in 1849, and a 
state constitution was adopted in 1857. During that time 
not a single Scandinavian w^as elected to any of the terri- 
torial legislative bodies. Ret . P. A. Cederstam, a Swedish 
Lutheran minister, was the only Northman who sat in the 
constitutional convention and signed the constitution of 


Minnesota. But the Norwegians were not much behind the 
Swedes in regard to Minnesota legislation. For in 1857-8, 
Hans Hanson and T. G. Fladeland — both Norwegians — 
were in the state legislature, being, therefore, the first Scandi- 
navian law-makers in Minnesota. Since over 255 descend- 
ants of the Vikings have exhibited their wisdom or ignor- 
ance in the arena of the capitol. Of these, 5 were Danes, 
170 Norwegians, and 80 Swedes. Some of them, however, 
have been re-elected several times. In some years, one out 
of every six of the representatives and senators was a 
Northman. But the Scandinavian population in the state 
constitutes two-fifths of the total, consequently they were 
not represented according to their due proportion. The 
Norwegians have been more numerous in the state, their 
immigration is older, they settle more in the country dis- 
tricts, and they take a greater interest in politics than the 
Swedes; that is, no doubt, the reasons why they have had a 
larger representation. Today (1900) the Germans-born 
persons outnumber by far the Norwegians, and the Swedes 
nearly equal them; but taking the history of the state as a 
whole, the Norwegians have wielded a more powerful politi- 
cal influence than the Swedes and Germans put together. 
L, J. Stark, in 1865, was the first Swede who served in the 
state legislature. Soren Listoe, being the first Dane, entered 
ten years later. J. Lindall, Die Peterson, and A. Railson 
were in the state senate in 1872, being, therefore, the first 
Northmen who r^resented their districts in that body. 

There are many counties in the state which have for 
years elected Scandinavian county oificials, and in some 
counties all the officials are Northmen. In a lecture de- 


livered in 1897, Prof. D. Magnus said: 'Today the Scandi- 
navians in Minnesota hold 338 county ofl&ces, and if we 
count 16 offices to a county, there is enough of them to fill 
every office in 21 counties. In 18 counties they hold the 
office of county superintendent of public instruction; in 26, 
that of auditor; in 33, that of register of deeds; and in 36, 
nearly one-half of all the counties in the state, that of treas- 
urer.' There is enough of Scandinavian officials in Minne- 
sota to govern a fair-sized kingdom in Europe. 

As has been related, they have ever since the state 
constitution was adopted been well represented in the two 
legislative bodies. But it was not until 1869 that any of 
them was elected to a state office. F. S. Christensen seems 
to have conceived the idea, and commenced to agitate the 
same in his paper, in 1869, which resulted in calling a 
Scandinavian convention at w^hich Col. Hans Mattson was 
nominated for secretary of state, being shortly after en- 
dorsed by the Republicans, and was elected in 1869. At 
the Republican state convention where Col. Mattson was 
nominated he made the following speech, in w^hich he 
undoubtedly echoed the sentiments of the majority of 
Scandinavians at that time as w^ell as today: "The time 
does not admit of any extensive remarks upon my part, 
yet so much has been said lately regarding the Scandi- 
navian element that the subject, perhaps, requires an 
explanation from me; and as the chosen representative of 
the Scandinavian people of this state in the present cam- 
paign, I am authorized to express their views, and I do so 
from a thorough knowledge of them. It is true that we 
have left our beloved land; we have strewn the last flowers 


Upon the graves of our forefathers, and have come here to 
stay, come here to live, come here to die. We are not a 
clannish people, nor do we desire to build up a Scandinavian 
nationality in your midst. You have known us here for 
many years; you have seen us corae among you unac- 
quainted with your language and your customs, and yet I 
know that you will bear me witness how readily and fra- 
ternally we have mingled with you, learned your language 
and adopted your ways, and how naturally our children 
grow up as Americans, side by side with yours. We have 
been cordially received in this great West by your own 
pioneers, and have become prosperous and happy. Yes, we 
love this great country of freedom, and we wish to be and 
remain Americans." 

Col. Mattson was, of course, elected secretary of state, 
being, therefore, the first Scandinavian state official in Min- 
nesota, and was re-elected eight years later. Besides him, 
John S. Irgens and Frederick P. Brown, both Norwegians, and 
Albert Berg, a Swede, have been elected to the same position. 
The following Scandinavians have also held high official 
positions in the state: for example, Charles Kittelson was 
elected treasurer in 1879; A. E. Rice, lieutenant-governor 
in 1886; Adolph Biermann, auditor in 1890; and Knute 
Nelson and John Lind, governors in 1892 and 1898, 
respectively. Knute Nelson was re-elected in 1894, but 
resigned the follovring year when he was elected to the 
United States senate. 

It will thus be seen that the Scandinavians have held 
nearly all the important state offices, and generally filled 
them with credit. But it will also be observed that the 


positions they have been elected to have not required any 
Special training or high scholastic educational qualifica- 
tions; natural abilities and experience could fill the bill. 
While, for example, the ofiices of attorney-general, superin- 
tendent of public instruction, and chief and associate 
justices of the supreme court, -which require the highest 
college and professional training, have never been held by 
any Northmen. They have men in the state who could fill 
these places, yet so far they have failed to do so. Knute 
Nelson, who w^as elected in 1882, has the honor of being the 
first Scandinavian who sat in the United States Congress, 
and John Lind, who was elected in 1886, is the first and 
only Swede who has ever been elected to that body. 
Both these men have represented their constituencies well, 
and have been an honor to the race from which they sprung. 
Since, Kittel Halvorson and H. E. Boen, both Norwegians, 
have also been elected to Congress. 

Most of the Scandinavians in Minnesota, as well as in 
other states, have been and are Republicans, yet no party 
has a mortgage on them, for some of their best educated 
men belong to the Democratic, People's, or Prohibition 

It is not our purpose in this article, nor in this volume 
for that matter, to advocate any theory of Scandinavism, 
yet it is an historical fact that the Danes, Norwegians, and 
Swedes in this state have always been on very intimate 
terms with each other. In some states the three nationali- 
ties live at sword's point. In Minnesota, on the contrary, 
they join hands in nearly all great social, financial, political, 
and religious undertakings. Many social affairs on a large 


scale are neither Swedisli, Norwegian, nor Danish, but 
Scandinavian. At the RepubUcan national convention in 
Minneapolis, in 1892, all the Northmen of all political par- 
ties organized a Scandinavian club in order to entertain 
their visiting countrymen. It is true that petty strifes and 
jealousies sometimes occur betw^een them, but, on the whole, 
the Danes, Norwegians, and Swedes in Minnesota consider 
themselves to be closely related and to have common inter- 
ests. A forcible illustration of this was had in 1896, 
when John Lind ran for governor on the fusion ticket. He 
received by far more Norwegian votes than Swedish, even 
in Norwegian Republican counties, as compared with Swed- 
ish Republican counties. Many Norwegian Republicans, 
no doubt, voted for Lind partly because they admired the 
man, and partly because they desired to return a favor to 
the Swedes, who had always stood by the Norwegian 
Republican candidates. 

V. Occupation. 

Of course, most of Minnesota's Scandinavians have been 
and are common laborers, servants, and farmers. Yet 
today there is not a single learned profession in which they 
cannot be found, and in some they have distinguished them- 
selves and become famous both in this country and abroad. 
Some of the Northmen in the state do business amounting 
to millions of dollars annually, and pay out thousands of 
dollars every year in taxes. There are Scandinavian busi- 
ness men in nearly every fair-sized city and village in the 
state, and hundreds of lawyers and physicians of Scandi- 
navian extraction, especially Norwegian, practice their pro- 


fessions in Minnesota. Literarily the Nortlimen in Minne- 
sota are -well supplied. About thirty Scandinavian weekly 
newspapers, a feAV monthly publications, and several books 
are published in the state. Some of the Scandinavian 
editors and writers in the state are famous in the literary 
world, both in this country and in Europe. Over one- 
fourth of all the Scandinavian-American newspapers and 
periodicals are published in Minnesota. Here the North- 
men have had intellectual advantages and connections with 
their native lands which their countrymen in many other 
parts of the Union have never enjoyed. They have had the 
pleasure to hear and come in contact with some of the 
greatest and noblest men and w^omen that the North has 
ever produced. For example, Fredrika Bremer, Ole Bull, 
Bjomstjeme Bjomson, Kristina Nilsson, P. Waldenstrom, 
and Bishop K. von Scheele visited the state in 1850, 1 877, 
1880, 1884, 1889, and 1893, respectively. 

VI. Statistics. 

According to the census of 1850, there were twelve 
Scandinavians in Minnesota. That is, one out of every fifty 
persons was bom in the North. In 1860 one out of every 
seventeen persons in the state was bom in the Scandinavian 
countries; in 1870 and 1880 one out of seven; and in 1890 
one out of six. But taking into consideration those who 
have Scandinavian parents, two-fifths of the entire popula- 
tion of the state are Northmen. Today (1900) there are 
in Minnesota about 620,000 Scandinavian-bom or having 
Scandinavian parents. No state in the Union has such a 
great number or large proportion; in fact, nearly one-fourth 


of all the Northtnen in the United States reside in Minne- 
sota, which has seven Scandinavians to each square mile, 
while Norway has only thirteen persons to the square mile. 
There are more Northmen who reside in Minneapolis than 
in any other city in the world, save Copenhagen, Stock- 
holm, Kristiania, Gothenburg, and Chicago. Taking into 
consideration only the first and second generations, there 
are about 40,000 Danes, 300,000 Norwegians, and 280,000 
Swedes in the state. In most cases a fair estimate of the 
Scandinavian-American population of the first and second 
generations may be obtained by multiplying the number of 
Scandinavian-born by 2%. In Minnesota, however, this is 
not exactly true in regard to the Swedes and Norwegians. 
According to the United States census of 1890, each of these 
nationalities in the state numbered about 100,000 persons 
born in the old country, but counting also those w^ho had 
Norwegian parents, the number was 195,764, against 155,- 
089 Swedish-bom or having Swedish parents. Considering 
the omission which all census reports are guilty of, and the 
increase of population since 1890, it is undoubtedly a con- 
servative estimate to add about 100,000 to each of the two 
nationalities. The greater number of persons bom in this 
country of Norwegian parents, in comparison w^ith the same 
class among the Swedes, is due mostly to the earlier immi- 
gration of the former people; and this fact is one of the 
main causes why the Norwegians in the Northwest have 
been able to exercise a greater influence than the Swedes in 
the public affairs. A large proportion, probably a majority, 
of the leading public and professional men among the Nor- 
wegians in this state and elsewhere were bom in this 


country of Norwegian parents who w^ere able to give their 
sons a good start in life. The second generation of the 
Sw^edes in the state are just beginning to come to the front. 
Ten years ago they were virtually an unknown quantity as 
far as political and professional activity is concerned. 
According to the state census of 1895, there w^ere 16,143 
Danish-born persons residing in Minnesota; 107,319 Nor- 
wegian-bom; and 119,554 Swedish-bom. No statistics or 
even estimates can be given in regard to Scandinavians of 
the third generation w^hich, especially among the Norwe- 
gians, is quite numerous. A fourth generation of Scandi- 
navian-Americans cannot be said to exist yet. According 
to the state census of 1895, there resided in Minnesota 
7,652 Finns and 457 Icelanders. Most of the former nation- 
ality have settled in the northern part of the state, espe- 
cially in St. Louis county, where nearly half of the total 
number lived. Of course, a large proportion of these Finns 
are virtually Svredes. Nearly all the Icelanders in Minne- 
sota seem to reside in Lyon and Lincoln counties. But as 
an illustration of the defectiveness of statistics, it may be 
mentioned that although about fifty or sixty Icelanders live 
in Minneapolis, no one is put down for that place in the 
state census of 1895. 



Showing the Number of Scandinavians Born in the Scandinavian 
Countries, and the Total Population in Each County of Min- 

U. S. CENSUS OF 1860. 







Big Stone , 

Blue Earth 









Cottonwood. .. 

Crow "Wing 


Dodge , 
















Lac qui Parle. 


Le Sueur 


Lyon ■. . 





Mille Lacs 

Hi BH 















. 1,335 

































































































































27 1 





































































TABLE XII.— Continued. 

U. S. CENSUS OF 1860. 








































































































































Otter Tail 
















































































































Yellow Medicine.. 












Historical Review of tlie Scandinavian Scliools 
in Minnesota. 

— BY — 


The state of Minnesota is not lacking in higher institu- 
tions of learning. On the contrary, time and again 
academies and colleges have been equipped for efficient work 
long before students could be secured in sufficient numbers 
to form good-sized classes. And pupils of Scandinavian 
stock are -welcome at all kinds of schools. Yet the Scandi- 
navians of the state have made and are still making strenu- 
ous efforts to build up and equip schools of their own, which 
must necessarily compete with other private and public 
institutions of the same kind. 

The earliest Scandinavian schools were started by 
Lutheran church people for the purpose of educating minis- 
ters, and teachers for parochial schools; and three-fourths of 
those which have survived the ordeal of competition are 
still controlled by men who support this work for the sake 
of keeping their countrymen within the fold of the church of 
their forefathers, and of making them, if possible, better and 
nobler American citizens than it is supposed they would 



have been if those particular educational advantages had 
not been offered to them. The great bulk of the work per- 
formed at this class of schools is of a decidedly secular 
nature. But in many cases the secular branches are taught 
mainly in order to secure attendance in our age of commer- 
cialism. In the course of the last few years some business 
colleges have been started by young Scandinavians as busi- 
ness enterprises pure and simple. These have had even 
greater odds than the former to contend against, and some 
of them have expired after a short and troublous career. 

No less than a score of educational institutions in Min- 
nesota are owned and controlled by Scandinavians. About 
one-half of the w^hole number devote more or less time to 
Hebrew or the classical languages, and a majority of them 
offer business courses. Over two thousand young persons 
have graduated from these institutions during the last quar- 
ter of the nineteenth century, and nearly one-third of them 
completed a theological course in Lutheran seminaries. 
Today (1900) about 160 professors and teachers are 
engaged in teaching over 3,000 students w^ho attend Scandi- 
navian schools in the state. These institutions represent a 
value of about half a million dollars. 

A large majority of the students were bom in America, 
but over ninety per cent of them are of Scandinavian extrac- 
tion. The Scandinavian languages are losing ground from 
year to year in these schools, and in most of them English is 
used almost exclusively in daily intercourse. It is worthy of 
note that very many young Americans of Scandinavian 
stock will rather attend schools managed by Scandinavians 
than other schools even when the latter are better equipped: 


they feel more at home among their own kinsmen. As a 
rule, those who attend schools managed by Scandinavian 
church people learn to take life seriously, and in after life 
they are found to be the strong men and women of their 
communities. The more ambitious ones continue their 
studies in the state university or some university in the 
Bast, and a few of them will round off their education in 

None can be more fond of American liberty than are the 
Scandinavians, none can be more ardently devoted to the 
essentials of American civilization. And yet it must be 
admitted that their leading minds do not take kindly to the 
idea of being unconditionally swallowed up and losing their 
identity in the new nation, to the up-building of which they 
contribute such a great share. They believe they furnish 
good timber for this nation ; they also believe they ought to 
have something to say about the construction of it. This 
sentiment has found its loftiest expression in their schools. 

The clergy, especially that of the Norwegian Synod 
and the Augustana Synod, have worked hard and persist- 
ently for regular parochial schools, and the result is that 
such schools are taught at least tv^o months a year in most 
of the congregations. They are generally located in public 
school houses or church buildings, and are taught when the 
public schools are closed. Quite a number of congregations 
have built parochial school houses, especially in the southern 
part of the state, and in certain parts of Goodhue county, 
for instance, they are about as numerous as the public 
school houses. 

A few words must also be said about the relation of the 


Scandinavians to other schools in the state. One of the first 
concerns of a Scandinavian after he has settled on a piece of 
land is to provide some sort of schooling for his children ; 
and no matter ho-w seriously he may take religious affairs, 
an English common school education is apt to find great 
favor with him. He wants a cheap teacher, how^ever, and 
he is generally in favor of as short terms as possible. About 
one-half of the pupils of the public schools of Minneapolis 
are of Scandinavian blood. 

Swedish. Gustavus Adolphus College, in St. Peter, 
practically dates from 1862. In that year Rev. E. Norelius 
started a school in Red Wing, but the next year it was 
removed to East Union, Carver county, and named St. 
Ansgar's Academy. In 1874 twenty-three prominent mem- 
bers of the Minnesota Conference formed a corporation for 
the purpose of establishing and maintaining "an institution 
of learning and instruction in the arts and sciences," and in 
the course of the next tw^o years a suitable building w^as put 
up in St. Peter. In 1876 the academy mentioned above vras 
removed into the new^ building. From that time the school 
has been known as Gustavus Adolphus College, and it 
is supported and controlled by the Minnesota Conference 
of the Swedish Lutheran Augustana Synod. The growth of 
it has been steady and vigorous, and for years past it has 
ranked with the best colleges of the Northwest. It com- 
prises college, academic, commercial, musical and normal 
departments. The main object of the school is to give young 
people "a thorough liberal education, based upon and 
permeated by the principles of Christianity as confessed by 
the Lutheran Church," and some aspect of the Bible or of 


the history of the church receives marked attention in every 
class. "A musical atmosphere pervades the entire institu- 
tion," says the catalogue, and great efforts have been put 
forth to make the conservatory of music correspond to the 
fastidious demands of a musical race. The library contains 
9,000 volumes; the specimens in the museum number several 
thousand; and the laboratory is well supplied v^ith chemical, 
physical, mathematical and astronomical apparatuses. The 
Minnesota Conference has always treated this college gener- 
ously, and the faculty has been a strong one. And yet the 
high standing of the institution is very largely due to the 
eminent fitness of Prof. M. Wahlstrom as president, which 
position he has held since 1881. There are sixteen profes- 
sors and instructors, several of "svhom hold doctors' degrees 
from the leading universities of Sweden and this country. 
About 220 students have graduated from the college, and 
the Augustana Theological Seminary at Rock Island, 111., 
drav7S some of its best material from this source. The 
attendance is about 300, more than one-fourth of whom are 
ladies. The campus, vsrhich is twenty-five acres in extent, 
commands a fine view of the surrounding country. There 
are six college buildings, the largest one of which is a 
massive structure of Kasota stone. The current expenses 
amount to about $18,000 a year, and the value of the col- 
lege property is $75,000. 

The Northwestern Collegiate and Business Institute, in 
Minneapolis, was established by Rev. E. A. Skogsbergh, in 
1885, and he has been closely connected with the school 
since that time. At present it is owned and operated by a 
corporation, the most of whose members are co-operating 



■with the Swedish Mission Covenant. For years past the 
annual enrolment has been about 150. There are from eight 
to ten instructors, and the school offers four courses of study. 

Crookston College, in the city after which it is named, 
was established in 1896, without capital, and it is owned 
by private parties. Its catalogue offers about ten courses of 
study, and the work is carried on by as many instructors. 
In later years the attendance has been not far from 300. The 
college property is worth at least $7,500. 

Hope Academy was founded at Moorhead in 1888 by the 
Red River Valley District of the Minnesota Conference of the 
Swedish Augustana Synod, and was discontinued in 1896. 
The faculty consisted of five members, and the school offered 
the same number of departments. The enrolment for the 
last year of its existence -was 84. 

Emanuel Academy was founded in Minneapolis in 1888 
by members of the Augustana Synod, and was discontinued 
in 1892. Five instructors -were employed in the course of 
the last year of its existence, and the enrolment for that 
year was 91. 

Norwegian. Augsburg Seminary, in Minneapolis, has 
passed through many vicissitudes. The Norwegian mem- 
bers of the Scandinavian Augustana Synod decided to estab- 
lish a theological seminary of their own in 1869, and this 
was located at Marshall, Wis. It was named Augsburg 
Seminary, though, in the words of its first president, "many 
may have desired a name of a more Northern origin." A 
building originally erected for school purposes was bought 
for $4,000, and the work was begun under favorable aus- 
pices. But a part of those Norwegians who were in the 


deal organized themselves into a new association, the Nor- 
wegian-Danish Evangelical Lutheran Conference, in 1870, 
and the professors and students left the building almost to 
a man and continued their work in connection with the ne-w 
association. The class was crowded into Cooper's Hall, the 
dimensions of w^hich were 18x10 feet and eight feet to the 
ceiling. In the winter of 1870-71 there were two professors 
and about a score of students, and they were all contending 
against grim poverty and other odds of an equally serious 
nature. In 1872 the school vras removed to its present 
location. Rev. O. Paulson having been instrumental in 
securing grounds and erecting a suitable building. Indeed, 
his efforts in this respect have justified his friends in calling 
him " the father of Augsburg." Prof A. Weenaas was the 
president of the seminary from the start to the spring of 
1876. He was an able man, and his main strength lay in 
his ability to arouse fanatical enthusiasm in his associates — 
he was a typical Norwegian-American chieftain in religious 
warfare. The removal to Minneapolis marks an era of 
expansion, not only of Augsburg Seminary, but of the Con- 
ference as well. Since 1873 Prof Sven Oftedal has occupied 
a chair of theology, and Prof G. Sverdrup has served as 
president since 1876. For a quarter of a century these two 
men have made Augsburg Seminary the great storm centre 
of the Norwegian Lutheran church in America, and their 
work is of such character that it may yet take decades 
before the historian can put it in its true light. It may be 
said even at this stage, however, that they aim at the 
greatest possible simplification of religious doctrines ; con- 
gregational independence ; and a vigorous religious life in 


the individual. During the seventies the seminary was 
loaded down with debt, but Prof. Oftedal succeeded in rais- 
ing $18,000 for the liquidation of it. During the years 
1890-93 the seminary was operated under the auspices of 
the United Church, and it w^as officially regarded as the 
theological seminary of said association. But as the board 
of trustees failed to transfer the property to the United 
Church, the latter "removed" its seminary from the Augs- 
burg buildings into rented quarters in the summer of 1893. 
Those w^ho remained at Augsburg, and their friends, on the 
contrary, have always maintained that at this critical 
moment the United Church simply withdrew from Augsburg 
and started a " new " seminary of its own. In the course of 
time the Augsburg faction w^as organized into the Free 
Church, and the controversy between this body and the 
United Church about the ownership of the Augsburg Semi- 
nary property aroused great bitterness, and many harsh 
words were used. The matter was fought in the courts from 
1896 to 1898, which involved a combined expenditure of 
about $17,000. In the summer of 1898 the case was settled 
by mutual agreement to the effect that the Augsburg Semi- 
nary corporation should keep the property, while an endow- 
ment fund amounting to about $39,000 was to be turned 
over to the United Church. Legally, the seminary is owned 
and controlled by a corporation. There are eight profes- 
sors, and the seminary offers three departments, namely, a 
preparatory, a classical and a theological. About 260 
students have been graduated from the theological, and 120 
from the classical department. The annual enrolment is 
about 200. The present value of the property is $60,000. 


Red Wing Seminary is the college and theological semi- 
nary of Hauge's Evangelical Lutheran Synod. This institu- 
tion was located in Red Wing and at its present quarters 
largely through the prompt and timely action of a single 
man, H. M. Sande. From the middle of the fifties to the 
latter part of the seventies, several attempts to establish a 
permanent seminary were made in said synod, but without 
success. In the fall of 1877 Sande was advised that the 
building now used by Red Wing Seminary could be bought 
for $10,000, though it had cost about $20,000. He and a 
few of the leading men of the synod felt confident that the 
synod would buy the property, and in order to prevent it 
from passing into other hands before the synod was able to 
take the necessary formal steps to make a purchase, he 
bought the property at his own risk Jan. 8, 1878. As soon 
as possible the synod endorsed his action, and March 1, 
1878, the property was deeded to the synod. The seminary 
was publicly opened Sept. 17, 1879, with Rev. I. Eisteinsen 
as president. Prof. G. O. Brohough has been teaching in the 
school since its opening, excepting the years 1893-95. No 
president has been retained for any great length of time, 
and seven different men have served in that capacity since 
the seminary was opened. There are two departments, a 
theological and a preparatory ; and the former is in charge 
of three professors, the latter of four. The work has been 
hampered by frequent changes in the faculty ; but the school 
has turned out a large number of able and fearless men who 
generally are a power for good in their spheres of action. 
Over one hundred young men have graduated from the 
preparatory, and about eighty from the theological depart- 


ment. Over seventy of the latter have entered the ministry 
of the Gospel. Graduates from the preparatory department 
may enter the State University without examination. The 
total annual enrolment is from 140 to 150. Some money 
has been raised for a new dormitory, which will be named 
after H. M. Sande. The value of the property is $20,000. 

St. Olaf College, at Northfield, was originally called St. 
Olaf s School. Rev. B. J. Muus may justly be called the 
father of this institution, for he w^as the soul and backbone 
of the movement which resulted in its establishment. A 
number of prominent members of the Norwegian Synod 
held a meeting in Northfield Nov. 6, 1874, and adopted arti- 
cles of incorporation for the school, and this w^as finally 
opened Jan. 8, 1875, in a frame building formerly used as 
a public school house. The school was removed into quar- 
ters of its ow^n in the fall of 1878. To begin w^ith, it w^as 
only an academy; but in 1886 a college department was 
added. ,The languages predominate in the collegiate depart- 
ment, and even Hebrew is taught in the classical courses. 
The college w^as originally owned and controlled by a cor- 
poration, most of w^hose members joined the United Church 
in 1890, and in 1899 the ownership and control of the 
institution were formally transferred to the United Church, 
the articles of incorporation being amended so as to substi- 
tute this body for the old corporation. Prof. Th. N. Mohn 
served as president from 1875 to 1899, and at the latter 
date Rev. J. N. Kildahl w^as elected to succeed him. The 
faculty is composed of a dozen members. For a number of 
years Prof. H. T. Ytterboe devoted his whole time to his 
duties as financial secretary, and his success in collecting 


Yoluntary contributions to the college was very great. 
About 55 persons have graduated from the collegiate, 220 
from the academic department. The attendance -was stead- 
ily decreasing for years, the enrolment for 1891-92 being 
184; that of 1897-98, 113. The property of the college is 
valued at $40,000. 

Luther Seminary, the theological seminary of the Nor- 
wegian Evangelical Lutheran Synod, was established in 
1876, at Madison, Wis., where it remained until 1888. 
During this period Prof. F. A. Schmidt and Prof. H. G. 
Stub successively served as president of the institution. 
The work carried on here during the eighties w^as marred 
by doctrinal controversies, in Avhich Prof. Schmidt vsras the 
central figure, and in 1886 only seven students ■were in 
attendance. Nevertheless, over fifty young men vrere 
graduated from the seminary while it was located at Madi- 
son. In 1888 the seminary was removed to Minneapolis, 
where the school building of Our Savior's Church served as 
temporary quarters during the winter of 1888—89. In the 
faU of the latter year it was removed to Robbinsdale, where 
it was located in a magnificent building erected for the pur- 
pose at a cost of $30,000. This building was destroyed by 
fire Jan. 11, 1895, and for the next four years the work of 
the seminary -was carried on in a frame building in Robbins- 
dale, which formerly had been used as a hotel. With 
admirable determination the synod secured new grounds at 
Hamline, St. Paul, on which a building was put up at a cost 
of $60,000, and the seminary has been located there since 
the fall of 1899. The seminary offered only a practical 
course during the years 1876-78, but a theoretical course 


was added at the latter date. At first only two professors 
w^ere employed, but for a number of years past the faculty 
has consisted of four professors. Prof. J. B. Frich has 
served as president since 1888. This seminary in one respect 
holds a unique position, being the only Scandinavian-Amer- 
ican institution of learning which educates ministers, but 
w^hich has no other department connected with it as a 
feeder to the theological department. The main reason 
given for this isolation is, that it- is not desirable that 
young men should be kept constantly under the influence of 
the same mind or minds from the time they enter col- 
lege until they enter the ministry — ^it -would stunt their 
mental development and make them caricatures of some 
favorite teacher or teachers. The whole number of gradu- 
ates up to date is about 225, and the attendance is about 
45. The value of the seminary property is at least $80,000. 
The United Church Seminary, Minneapolis. In 1886 the 
Anti-Miss ourians established a theological class in connec- 
tion with St. Olaf College, at Northfield, Minn. ; but when 
the Anti-Missourians, in 1890, joined two other associa- 
tions in organizing the United Church, the professors, M. O. 
Bockman and F. A. Schmidt, removed from Northfield to 
Augsburg Seminary, Minneapolis, which institution was to 
be the theological seminary of the United Church. But 
as the old board of trustees of Augsburg Seminary failed 
to transfer the property, the United Church "removed" its 
seminary and located it in rented quarters at the corner of 
Franklin and Twenty-sixth avenues south, Minneapolis. 
This occurred in 1893, and since that year the institution 
has been known by its present name. Prof. M. 0. Bockman 


has served as president since 1893. There are nine profes- 
sors and instructors, and the annual enrolment is about 
200. The number of graduates* is about 150 from the theo- 
logical, and 40 from the classical department. In 1899 the 
United Church resolved to discontinue the college depart- 
ment in the spring of 1900, leaving the school a theological 
seminary pure and simple. At the same time it was also 
resolved to secure permanent grounds and to erect buildings 
for the seminary in or near the Twin Cities. 

The United Norwegian Lutheran Church, at the time of 
its organization in Minneapolis, in 1890, resolved to estab- 
lish a teachers' seminary. Accordingly, the Normal School 
of said church association was built at Madison, Minn. 
The dedication of the first building took place Nov. 10, 
1892, and ever since that date the work at the school has 
been carried on with great regularity. The school is man- 
aged by a board of regents and a board of trustees elected 
by the annual meetings of the United Church. As indicated 
by the name, "the aim of the school is to qualify young 
men and -women for teachers in our public schools and in 
the Norwegian parochial schools." Only two courses, a 
preparatory and a normal, are offered, and English and 
Norwegian are the only languages meddled with. On the 
whole, the program of this school is comparatively modest, 
and perhaps for that very reason its attendance has been 
growing rather slowly. But the work is done thoroughly 
and enthusiastically, and as a power for good this institu- 
tion stands high. For years the work has been performed 

* For the years 1891-93 the graduates of the United Church Seminary, as given by 
its catalogue, are the same as those given by the catalogue of Augsburg Seminary. 


by five instructors, under the able and popular leadership of 
Prof. 0. Lokensgaard, and the annual enrolment is about 
120. The value of the main building is $26,000, and a 
dormitory has just been erected at a cost of $10,000. 

The Willmar Seminary, at Willmar, has been in opera- 
tion since the fall of 1883. It was established through the 
efforts of members of the Norwegian Synod, and it is owned 
by a corporation which was organized in 1882 and reorgan- 
ized in 1890. The school offers five courses; but these actu- 
ally embrace more than some schools parading twice that 
number of courses in their catalogues. There are eight pro- 
fessors and instructors. H. S. Hilleboe, who for a long 
series of years held the position of president, deserves special 
mention because he was the chief instrument in building up 
the school. In the early nineties the attendance reached 
almost 400 ; but hard times and competition reduced it very 
materially. The annual enrolment now^ averages about 
225, and it is on the increase. The whole number of grad- 
uates is about 160. The cost of the establishment is 
$20,000, and it now affords class-room accommodation for 
500 students. 

The Lutheran Ladies' Seminary, at Red Wing, is the 
only Norwegian school of its kind in America. From the 
start it has been owned and operated by a corporation 
whose members belong to the Norwegian Synod. A dozen 
persons are connected with the school as instructors, and it 
offers seven courses of study, four of which cover five years 
each. The number of branches taught is great, ranging from 
cooking and dressmaking to German, French and Latin. The 
corporation has made strenuous efforts to render the school 


a first-class institution of learning, and its cai'eer since it 
was established, in 1894, has been encouraging. The dis- 
cipline is very strict. The attendance for the first year in 
the history of the seminary was 57, but in the course of time 
this number has more than doubled. The seminary building 
is a noble structure, and large enough to accommodate 150 
students. "The seminary grounds are unsurpassed," and 
occupy eighteen acres. The whole property is worth 

Luther Academy, at Albert Lea, was opened in the fall 
of 1888. It was estabhshed and is still owned and con- 
trolled by a corporation within the Norwegian Synod. 
"Luther Academy aims to build up character and manhood 
on Christian principles," and "rehgious instruction is given 
a prominent place among the branches taught." The school 
ofiers six branches of study, and the class work is conducted 
by an equal number of instructors. The whole number of 
graduates up to date is over one hundred, and the annual 
enrolment is from 150 to 200. The main building is a large, 
fine brick structure, and the value of the whole property is 

Concordia College, at Moorhead, has been in operation 
since 1891. It is owned and managed by a corporation 
within the United Church, and its chief aim is to educate 
teachers for public and parochial schools. It offers classical, 
normal, business, music and domestic industry courses, and 
the number of instructors is from six to twelve. The aver- 
age annual enrolment is about 250, and the whole number 
of graduates up to date is nearly 100. The value of the 
property is $40,000. 


The Park Region Luther College, in Fergus Falls, was 
opened in 1892. It was established by ministers and lay- 
men of the Norwegian Synod and is controlled by a corpo- 
ration. The school offers a commercial and an academic 
course, and the studies are especially adapted to the needs 
of those who intend to teach public and pa.rochial schools. 
There are six professors and instructors ; the w^hole number 
of graduates from the school is about 60 ; and the annual 
enrolment is almost 200. 

Glenwood Academy, at Glenwood, has been in opera- 
tion since 1894. It is owned and managed by a corpora- 
tion composed wholly of members of the Norwegian Synod. 
The school offers only four courses of study, but each one is 
quite comprehensive, and the work is thorough. The annual 
enrolment is about 100. The property belonging to the 
school is worth $8,000. 

The Minnesota Normal School and Business College is 
located in Minneapolis. It was established in 1896. In 
1899 its proprietors bought the Minneapolis Normal Col- 
lege, which institution was opened at Crookston, Minn., in 
1893, but w^as removed to 1894. The con- 
solidation of the two schools raised the attendance of the 
former to about 400. The catalogue offers almost a dozen 
different courses of study, and the faculty numbers almost 
a score of professors and instructors. 

The Southern Minnesota Normal College, at Austin, 
was started at Kenyon, Minn., in 1895, and was removed 
to its present location in 1897. The enrolment for the year 
1897-98 was 207, and since that time the attendance has 
materially increased. The corps of professors and instruct- 


ors numbers ten, more than half of whom devote their 
whole time to the work in the school. There are about ten 
different courses of study; and the value of the property 
belonging to the institution is $7,000. 

Wraaman's Academy has been in operation in South 
Minneapolis since 1890. Its enrolment never reached 100, 
and the present attendance is about 20. 

Northwestern Free Church Mission School has been at 
Belgrade since 1897. Its aim is religious edification and 
instruction, and its attendance is about 50. 

Danish. The Danebod High School, at Tyler, is an 
adaptation, on American soil, of the unique Danish institu- 
tions knowTi for the past fifty years as "the people's high 
schools." Accordingly, the students at Danebod may 
choose any study they please; there are no examinations; 
no degrees are conferred; only practical and character-build- 
ing branches are taught; and the boys attend in winter, the 
girls in summer. The school dates from 1888, and is 
owned by a corporation; but the buildings are rented by 
A. Bobjerg, the principal. The enrolment is about 60. The 
property of the school is worth $5,000. 

The above account includes all Scandinavian schools of 
any account in this state; but we have intentionally left 
out several defunct schools which -we did not consider to be 
of such importance as to deserve mention in this work. 

Other Institutions. The attendance at the four state 
normal schools is about 3;000. Of this number, about 525, 
or 18 per cent, are evidently of Scandinavian parentage. 
It is estimated that 40 per cent of the population of the 
state are of Scandinavian stock; hence the Scandinavians 


do not furnish quite one-half of their natural share of the 
attendance at the Minnesota state normal schools. Only 
thirteen per cent of the university students are of Scandi- 
navian extraction; but they constitute forty per cent 
of the attendance at the agricultural school connected 
with the university. The former percentage is surprisingly 
low. But this is not due to any interference from the Scan- 
dinavian schools. In fact, the latter seem to serve as feed- 
ers to the university. The main cause is the general dis- 
inclination of the rich Scandinavian farmers to keep their 
children in a purely secular school which requires the 
student to toil on for years and years before his education 
is finally finished, and which even at the best does not 
offer any highway to wealth or honor. This statement is 
indirectly substantiated by the fact that a very large pro- 
portion of this class of students have to fight their way 
single-handed through their university course. Prof. 0. J. 
Breda for a number of years occupied the chair of Scandi- 
navian languages and literatures at the State University, 
and his acknowledged scholarship made him one of the 
strongest men at that institution. In 1899 he removed to 
Norway, and J. S. Carlson, an able educator, succeeded 
him. The number of Scandinavian professors and instruct- 
ors in the state institutions is strikingly small. At Carle- 
ton College, Northfield, a Scandinavian department has been 
in operation since 1885, and twenty per cent of the stu- 
dents at that college are of Scandinavian stock. Prof. D. 
Magnus is at the head of .the Scandinavian department, 
and through his efforts many of his young countrymen and 
countrywomen have been induced to attend this college. 

Historical Review of tlie Scandiaaviaa 
Churches in Minnnesota. 

— BY — 


The Scandinavians iiave been powerful agents in pro- 
moting the intellectual and religious welfare of the people 
of the state of Minnesota. One of the first pioneers and 
Protestant missionaries among the Indians in Minnesota 
was a Swede, Jacob Falstrom, who came to the state before 
Fort Snelling was established, in 1819; and, although he 
did little or nothing in promoting civilization because he 
had degenerated into savagery himself, yet he was a noted 
character. He was the Grst Northman in the Northwest. 
Since that time some other Scandinavians have endeavored 
to Christianize the savage as w^ell as the civilized natives of 
the North Star State. But the main effort of the majority 
of the religiously inclined Northmen has been directed 
towards maintaining and promoting the religious principles 
among their own people. In this respect they have been so 
successful that in 1900 there were in the neighborhood of 
1,600 Scandinavian congregations in the state, with an 
aggregate membership, including the children, of nearly two 



hundred and fifty thousand. That is, over one-third of the 
Minnesota Scandinavians belong to some leading religious 
association. But several thousand Northmen are members 
of purely American churches, and some even associate them- 
selves religiously -mth other nationalities, for example, with 
the German Lutherans, and a very few have joined the 
Irish Catholics. This class of people together with those 
w^ho do not belong to any church, but yet attend regularly 
a certain place of worship, would probably increase the 
number of church-going Scandinavians in the state to 
about half a million, or over two-thirds of their total num- 
ber. There are about 1,100 church edifices; and the value 
of these buildings, parsonages, schools, and other institu- 
tions owned and controlled by the Northmen in the state in 
the interest of religion, education, and benevolence seems to 
be nearly $4,000,000. 

The great bulk of the religious work has been and is 
done by the Lutherans. Out of the 250,000 Northmen in 
the state who are church members, about 215,000 belong 
to the Lutheran associations. They control all the im- 
portant Scandinavian schools, and own six hospitals and 
four orphans' homes. Many attempts have been made by the 
different American denominations to do missionary work 
among the Scandinavians in the state. More money has 
been expended and more brain-work wasted for this purpose 
in Minnesota, especially in the Twin Cities, than in any 
other state in the Union. American Baptists, Methodists, 
Episcopalians, Congregationalists, Adventists, Presbyteri- 
ans, Unitarians, and others have endeavored to convert the 
Scandinavians to their respective creeds. Some of them have 


succeeded fairly well, but hardly, it seems, in proportion to 
the expenditure. The Methodist Missionary Society, for 
example, has paid out about $50,000 annually for a num- 
ber of years to the Scandinavian Methodists in the United 
States. Of course, Minnesota has received a large share of 
these appropriations. Besides, wealthy Methodists have 
assisted poor churches in their neighborhoods; yet, in spite of 
all this, there were only about 3,000 Scandinavian Metho- 
dists in the state in 1900. Other denominations have also 
been very generous; but, with the probable exception of the 
Baptists, have not been any more successful. A Scandi- 
navian Unitarian church in Minneapolis has received over 
$25,000 from the Americans during the last sixteen years, 
and for several years past each member of this church has 
cost the Americans over $15.00 a year. A Scandinavian 
Presbyterian church cost the American Presbyterians about 
$1,000 a year for half a dozen years, or nearly $100 
annually for each communicant. In pursuing missionary 
work among a people who all have received at least the 
rudiments of a Christian training, proselyting can hardly 
be avoided even by conscientious men, and some of the 
so-called missionaries have been merely unscrupulous ad- 
venturers. The noblest religious zeal and the basest methods 
of proselyting have been practiced in order to regenerate the 
Scandinavians in this state, or to change their religious 
belief But in spite of the fact that neither money, devotion, 
nor moral scruples have been spared, yet the result has not 
been very great. The main causes of this meagemess in 
results are the conservatism of the Scandinavians and their 
devotion to the Lutheran faith. Many Northmen, both 



church members and outsiders, also feel it as a humiliation 
that they should be treated as fit subjects for missionary 
■work the same as are the savages of Africa. Nor should it be 
overlooked in this connection that the Scandinavians are 
very fond of self-government in religious as well as in politi- 
cal matters. And when the zealous devotees or paid emis- 
saries have tried to convert to their views Lutheran church 
members of good standing, the Lutherans have sometimes 
publicly denounced such practice. They have maintained 
that as independent and self-sustaining church organiza- 
tions, they were entitled to the considerations and courte- 
cies which are supposed to be practiced among the differ- 
ent denominations. As good American citizens and orderly 
Christians, the Scandinavian- American Lutherans have 
opposed to the bitter end all attempts to make their 
countrymen the tail end of any sect; and they have always 
believed, justly or unjustly, that they could take care of 
their religious instruction and promote their Americaniza- 
tion in as satisfactory manner as anyone else, if not a little 
better. With the Americans, and to a certain extent among 
the Scandinavians, religious selfishness and national bigotry 
have apparently played a part in all this activity. Yet it is 
-to be hoped that Christian zeal has in the main prompted 
the contending parties to such energetic exertions, and as 
the Northmen stand as victors in the field, little complaint 
is nowadays heard from them. The other parties have 
paid out large sums of money, and some continue to do so 
yet, and all have received valuable lessons of experience. 

The typical Norwegian of the nineteenth century is rest- 
less and impatient. On his native soil he has given vent to 


this restlessness and impatience through his national poli- 
tics; in America, partly through his church work. Indeed, 
no set of emigrants of the nineteenth century have carried 
on such extensive and persistent church controversies 
among themselves as have the Nor-wegians and their 
descendants from the time of the exodus of the Sloop folks 
down to our day. Singularly enough, however, the conten- 
tions of the church members, instead of scaring away out- 
siders, have actually attracted them. Accordingly, though 
the Norwegians, as a nationality, are not naturally 
more religious than other Indo-Europeans, those of them 
who have landed upon our shore during the past sixty 
years enjoy the unique distinction of having joined . some 
church in larger numbers, proportionately, than any other 
immigrants of the same period. The Norwegian Lutherans 
in the state for thirty-five years past have been engaged in 
mutual controversies of different kinds. Many of them — in 
fact the most of them — have at one time or another deplored 
this internecine warfare and protested that it would 
destroy the church. But on the whole it has actually stimu- 
lated the church work, and close observation has convinced 
us that if there had been peace instead of w^ar, the Nor- 
wegian Lutherans in the state would have numbered several 
thousand less than they do now. It may not seem pious to 
say so, but many a worldly-minded Viking has become so 
interested in the fight that he has joined the faction with 
which he sympathized in order to assist in beating the 
opposing faction. Thus, what might be supposed to keep 
the Norwegians out of the church has actually drawn them 
into it. 


The United Norwegian Lutheran Church. The 
Minnesota contingent of the United Church came from three 
sources. The Anti-Missourian Brotherhood deserves to be 
treated first because its former adherents noAV constitute 
the mainstay of the United Church in this state. Up to the 
middle of the eighties the Brotherhood vras an integral part 
of the Norwegian Synod. The people that formed the 
Brotherhood deprived the synod of some of its largest 
and most prosperous congregations in Minnesota, notably 
those in Goodhue county, w^hich locality for tw^enty years 
had been the great stronghold of the synod in the state. 
About 80 Minnesota congregations belonging to the 
Brotherhood became a part of the United Church in 1890. 
The whole number of souls belonging to these congrega- 
tions and some fifteen, others served by nearly forty Brother- 
hood ministers who joined the United Church was about 
28,000. The corporation controlling St. Olaf College at 
Northfield, consisted mainly of adherents of the Brother- 
hood, and the latter operated a theological class in connec- 
tion with the college from 1886 to 1890. At the organiza- 
tion of the United Church this class and its two professors 
were transferred to Augsburg Seminary, which was then to 
be regarded as the theological seminary of the United 
Church. Nearly all of the Brotherhood congregations have 
remained true to the United Church during a decade of 
trials and tribulations. 

The Norwegian-Danish Lutheran Conference was the 
most vigorous and energetic of the three organizations that 
formed the United Church. The leading pioneers of the 
Conference in Minnesota were the Revs. O. Paulson and 


T. H. DaU, who obtained footholds in Minneapolis and 
elsewhere at the close of the sixties. The career of the Con- 
ference during the years of 1870-90 was an unbroken series 
of -victories, and though the internal strifes at times were 
quite bitter, the losing faction, represented by certain con- 
gregations in the southern part of this state and in Iowa, 
never withdrew from the association. From Minnesota the 
Conference contributed about forty ministers and 170 con- 
gregations to the United Church. One hundred and forty of 
these congregations actually joined the association, and the 
aggregate number of souls belonging to all of them was 
about 27,500. It will thus be seen that the Conference and 
the Brotherhood furnished an equal number of ministers 
and practically an equal number of souls to the United 
Church from this state ; but the former had almost tw^ice as 
many congregations as the latter. 

The Augustana Synod was by far the smallest of the 
three associations that were merged into the United Church. 
The oldest congregation of the Augustana Synod in Minne- 
sota was organized by Rev. P. Asbjornsen, June 8, 1857, at 
New^burg, and this was one of the oldest Norwegian Lutheran 
churches in the state. The growth of this synod was checked 
by the organization of the Conference within its ranks, and 
it required great courage to keep up the organization in the 
face of its po-«verful rivals. In this state the United Church 
received from the Augustana Synod eleven congregations 
which embraced over 2,000 souls, and three ministers. 

The state of Minnesota contributed to the United 
Church, in 1890, about 275 congregations, 45 of which, 
however, did not formally join the association, but w^ere 


served by ministers -who did so ; and the whole number of 
souls embraced by the movement was betw^een 55,000 and 
60,000. During the years 1890-93 the membership 
increased materially, chiefly by the admission of new congre- 
gations, and the parochial reports of the United Church for 
the year 1893 give the names of more than 350 congrega- 
tions in the state. But that has been the highest mark so 
far. The internal struggles w^hich seemed to shake the very 
foundations of the association during the years 1893-98 
retarded the growth of the body as a whole, and in this 
state the number of congregations dropped from about 355 
in 1893 to 285 in 1898. In 1900 the total number of souls 
belonging to the United Church in the state was not quite 
65,000. The people of this association have manifested a 
commendable zeal for higher education, and they support 
four important schools, four hospitals, and one orphans' 
home in the state. There are about 230 church buildings, 
and the value of the property owned either by the United 
Church or by its congregations in the state was about 
$850,000 in 1900. 

The Lutheran Free Church. This association is a 
resuscitation of a certain faction of the Norwegian-Danish 
Evangehcal Lutheran Conference, which in 1890 became 
a part of the United Church. During the years 1890-93 two 
contending factions arose within the United Church, and 
w^hen this body, in the summer of 1893, took practical steps 
to "remove" its theological seminary from the Augsburg 
Seminary buildings, the "Friends of Augsburg" held an 
informal meeting and resolved to rally around their favorite 
institution. At this stage they w^ere often called simply 


"the minority," and their opponents "the majority." After 
the summer of 1893 there could be no co-operation between 
the two factions. "The minority" held regular annual 
meetings of their own, calling themselves "the Friends ol 
Augsburg" from 1893 to 1896, and the Lutheran Free 
Church from June 12, 1897. The Free Church has its 
stronghold in the northern part of Minnesota and in North 
Dakota, while the most of the old Conference people living 
elsewhere remain in the United Church. The leaders of the 
Free Church are an exceedingly aggressive set of men, and 
opposition only seems to spur them on to greater activity. 
And they have actually endeavored to accomplish some- 
thing new under the sun. This endeavor is embodied in the 
Practical Rules of the Free Church, § 6, which grants any 
member of any Lutheran church the right to vote at the 
annual meetings of the Free Church, provided he or she 
endorses the principles and rules of said body, and promises 
to co-operate with it. Augsburg Seminary is the heart and 
soul of the movement. This is not accidental ; for -while the 
other Lutheran church organizations have started schools 
in different parts of the country, the leading Augsburg: 
minds have given but scant encouragement to such 
endeavors outside their own institution. The watchword 
of the Free Church is congregational independence and 
individual edification. Being yet in its formative period, it 
has neglected its statistics. According to the estimates of 
Prof. Georg Sverdrup, the Free Church contains alto- 
gether in the United States about 40,000 souls, 25,000 of 
whom are communicants, and these are organized into 
about 300 local churches. According to the same authority 


the association owns property to the value of about 
$1,000,000. The Free Church has about two-thirds of its 
strength in Minnesota. The Free Church people have 
always contributed liberally to the work carried on by the 
association. The annual contributions in this state in 1898 
aggregated about $15,000 ; and the chief items of expendi- 
ture of the Free Church were $5,500 to foreign missions, 
$4,000 to Augsburg Seminary, and $2,500 to home 
missions. The Norwegian Lutheran Deaconesses' Institute 
in Minneapolis is largely supported by Free Church people. 
Most of the congregations have church buildings of their 
own, but there are comparatively few parsonages. 

Hauge's Synod. This association, originally called the 
Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, for years had its 
stronghold in Wisconsin. But during the fifties and sixties 
its center of population moved westward, and in 1876, 
thirty years after its organization, more than one-half of its 
congregations were located west of the Mississippi river. 
The organization received its present name and its "new 
constitution" at the annual meeting of 1875, which was 
held June 5-13, at Arendahl, Minn. Since the establishment 
of the theological seminary and college of the synod in Red 
Wing, in 1879, this state has been the chief scene of activity 
within the synod. In 1900 about 40 out of a total of 100 
ministers and professors resided in Minnesota; and about 
65 out of a total of 230 congregations are located in the 
same state. The whole synod consists of about 18,000 
communicants and 30,000 souls, and almost exactly one- 
third of them reside in Minnesota. The growth of this body 
is healthy and steady, its membership having almost 


doubled during the past fifteen years. Of the 155 church 
buildings belonging to the synod, fully one-third are located 
in Minnesota — EUing Eielsen and a few others kept up a 
separate organization from the middle of the seventies, 
abiding by the "old constitution," and they are represented 
by three congregations in this state. 

Swedish Mission. The oldest congregation belonging 
to the Mission Covenant in the state was organized at 
Salem, Olmsted county, in 1870. About half a dozen others 
were organized during the seventies. The development of 
the covenant was most rapid during the eighties, and since 
that time its stronghold has been in the Twin Cities. The 
statistics of the covenant are very defective in this state as 
elsewhere, and the figures given do not indicate the work 
actually carried on. There are about 30 congregations 
formally belonging to the covenant, and they have an 
aggregate membership of about 5,000, counting the child- 
ren. There are over 50 ministers, or about two for each 
congregation. But a large number of these men have 
received no theological training whatever, and several sup- 
port themselves mainly by manual labor. Most of the con- 
gregations have church buildings of their own. One of them, 
the Minneapolis Tabernacle, has a seating capacity ol 
3,000, and is worth $35,000. The value of all the church 
property in the state exceeds $100,000. The only institu- 
tion of learning connected with the covenant in the state is 
the North-western Collegiate and Business Institute, which 
is located in the Minneapolis Tabernacle. The 30 congrega- 
tions contribute on the average about $1,000 each to the 
different branches of work performed by the congregations 


and the covenant — The Free Mission people, according to 
the estimates of Rev. N. Wickstrom, are represented by 
about 130 churches, -which have a communicant member- 
ship of about 3,900, and church property valued at $65,000. 
The Scandinavian Congregationalists, who are mostly 
Swedish Mission Friends, have about 100 congregations 
and 7,000 communicants in the United States, and they are 
well represented in Minnesota. 

Baptists. The first Swedish Baptist church in the state 
was organized by Rev. F. O. Nilsson in Houston, Aug. 18, 
1853, with a membership of nine. By the year 1860 there 
w^ere eight churches with 162 members. The Minnesota 
conference dates from the year 1858, and its growth since 
its organization has been steady and healthy. In 1900 it 
consisted of 80 churches, which are cared for by 50 pastors. 
The number of communicants is about 5,500. One-fourth 
of the members reside in the Twin Cities. There are about 
60 church edifices valued at $140,000. 

Fifteen Danish Baptists organized a congregation Oct. 
11, 1863, at Clark's Grove, Freeborn county, and this is the 
oldest Danish organization of its kind v\rest of the Missis- 
sippi. Several other Danish Baptist congregations were 
started in the southern part of the state during the next few 
years, and in the eighties Norwegian Baptist congregations 
grew up in the Twin Cities. The Norwegian and Danish 
Baptists of Minnesota and Iowa formed the Western confer- 
ence in 1883; but this was divided along the state line eight 
years later, the Minnesota conference having been organ- 
ized May 30, 1891, at Stillwater. In 1900 a score of congre- 
gations belong to the conference, and the number of com- 


municants is about 1,400. There are twelve preachers, and 
the value of the property owned by the congregations is 

Methodists. Two Norwegian girls who were mem- 
bers of a Norwegian Methodist congregration at Washing- 
ton Prairie, Iowa, came to St. Paul in the course of the 
years 1851—53, and they were doubtless the pioneers of the 
Scandinavian Methodist churches in the state. The first 
movement crystallized in the organization of a Scandina- 
vian church in St. Paul, in 1853. The movement made but 
little progress during the next ten years, but in the early 
sixties several new congregations w^ere started. Up to 1877 
the Norwegian MinAesota conference worked in connection 
with the American conferences, but since that date the Nor- 
wegian Methodists of several Northwestern states, includ- 
ing Minnesota, have managed their affairs somewhat inde- 
pendently. In 1900 there are about 40 congregations in the 
state, which are served by twenty odd ministers, and an 
epual number of local preachers. The total number of 
communicant members is 1,400. The value of the 30 church 
buildings and the 15 parsonages has been put at $83,000. 

Since 1893 the Swedish Methodist churches in Minne- 
sota have constituted a part of the Northern Mission Con- 
ference. In 1900 there are 35 congregations in the state. 
Their total membership is about 1,600, and about 2,000 
children attend their 40 Sunday schools. Nearly every 
congregation has a church building, and the aggregate 
value of the church buildings and the parsonages is put at 
$115,000. There are over 20 regular ministers and about a 
dozen local preachers. — It should be observed that the 


Methodists generally put a high value on their church 
property. Often it is estimated, in their reports, to be 
worth twice as much as another denomination would rate 
similar possessions. But it was deemed best to retain their 
own figures. 

Danish Lutherans. The United Danish Evangelical 
Lutheran Church, which was organized in Minneapolis, in 
1896, has about a score of congregations in this state in 
1900. The total number of persons connected with them is 
about 3,000. Some twenty children are cared for at 
an orphans' home in Albert Lea. — The Danish Evangelical 
Lutheran Church had seven congregations in the state in 
1899, and the number of souls connected with these was a 
little over 1,600. The Danebod high school, at Tyler, is 
operated in connection with the latter association. 

Icelandic Lutherans. The Icelandic Evangelical 
Lutheran Church of America w^as organized the 25th of 
January, 1885. A very large proportion of the members, 
about 3,500 communicants and 6,000 souls, reside in 
Canada; yet about 650 persons belong to the four congre- 
gations in the state, all located in Lincoln and Lyon coun- 
ties. The church property is estimated to be worth $9,000 
The religious work among the Icelanders in said places was 
begun in 1879 by Rev. J. Bjamason, and for some time a 
newspaper, Kennarinn, has been published in the interest 
of the church at Minneota, by Rev. B. B. Jonsson. 

Unitarians. Several Norwegian Unitarian churches 
vpere started during the eighties in Minnesota and Wiscon- 
sin by Kristofer Janson. But the movement has made no 
progress during the past ten years, and the bona fide mem- 


bersHp of the four congregations in the state is not quite 
300. The Nazareth congregation in MinneapoUs has a 
church building worth $8,000. A Swedish Unitarian church 
in Minneapolis was discontinued several years ago. 

Episcopalians. A Swedish Episcopal congregation was 
organized in Minneapolis, in 1892, by Rev. 0. A. Toffteen, 
and since that time the Episcopalian propaganda has been 
pushed with considerable energy among the Swedes. In 
1899 there were nine congregations in the state, and they 
had a total membership of about 1,500, including 1,000 
communicants . 

Nearly all the great denominations not treated above 
under separate heads have at one time or another carried 
on missionary w^ork among the Scandinavians of the state. 
The Adventists, Universalists, Presbyterians, and Disciples 
of Christ are all represented by Scandinavian cong'regations; 
but their folio-wing is not strong numerically, and the work 
is spasmodic rather than systematic. The Salvation Army 
has a considerable following among the Scandinavians, and 
they are organized into a number of vigorous corps. The 
total membership in the state is several hundred. 

Historical Review of tlie Minnesota District of 
tlie Norwegian Synod. 

— BY — 


The Minnesota District of the Norwegian Synod did not 
receive its separate organization and officers until 1876; but 
its history goes back to settlements and churches founded 
by Norwegian immigrants and pastors during the latter 
days of the territory. The first Norwegian clergyman who 
visited the settlers in the present Minnesota District was 
N. Brandt, of Rock Prairie, Wis., who arrived at Red Wing 
in June, 1855. Together with a companion, he visited on 
foot his newly arrived countrymen in other portions of 
Goodhue county. During the summer of 1856 some of the 
settlers organized a Lutheran congregation and secured 100 
acres of land for church purposes, the present Holden par- 
sonage.* In September of the same year they were visited 
by Rev. H. A. Stub, of Coon Prairie, Wis., who conducted 
several meetings and assisted them in framing a constitu- 

*See "Soger Hjem," by Eev. B. J. Muns, p. 133. If the author 13 correct, then this 
seems to have been the flrst Norwegian Lutheran church organization in the state of 
Minnesota. No clergyman appears to have been present when the church was organized. 



tion and issuing a call for a pastor. The minutes of the 
meeting were subscribed to by 72 voting members, and the 
letter authorizing the church council of the synod to call a 
pastor for them -was signed by four trustees, namely, Knut 
K. Finseth, Kjostel G. Naeseth, Halvor Olsen Huset, and 
Christopher Lockrem. In 1857 Rev. Munch and Prof. 
Larsen visited the settlements in Goodhue county. The 
latter preached six days in succession to large audiences, 
many following him from place to place. During one week 
in June he baptized 100 children, of which 33 were baptized 
at one service near Nestrand, Rice county, and 14 were con- 
firmed at this place. The next year he preached in St. Paul, 
Stillwater, Carver, St. Peter, Mankato, and other places. 
At one time, after a fourteen days' journey, mostly afoot, 
Prof Larsen — who resided in Pierce county. Wis. — came to 
Knut Finseth sorefooted, his shoes being entirely worn out. 
Finseth sent to Kenyon for shoes ; but as no small number 
of men's shoes could be found there, a pair of ladies' shoes 
was procured, and in these Goodhue county -was traversed. 
Rev. A. C. Preus also visited the pioneers w^ho w^ere under 
Prof. Larsen's charge up to 1859, when B. J. Muus, from 
Norway, who had been called by the church council, arrived 
in November, and became the first resident pastor of the 
Norwegian Synod within the present Minnesota District. 
Up to this time some of the settlements were visited only 
once a year by a synod clergyman, as the ministers were 
few in number and most of them resided hundreds of miles 
from the outposts in Minnesota. Rev. P. A. Rasmussen, 
residing at Lisbon, 111., but not belonging to the synod, had 
charge of a congregation in Goodhue county for some years; 


but as he became a member of the synod in 1862, his parish- 
ioners the following year joined the churches tended by Rev. 
Muus. In 1859-60 a parsonage was built for Rev. Muus, 
and in the latter year a church building was erected. In 
1860 the first subscription for Luther College was made, 
amounting to $603, contributed by forty -two church mem- 
bers in Goodhue county. According to the statement of 
Rev. Muus, about $10,000 was contributed by the churches 
of his charge to higher institutions of learning during the 
first twenty-five years of his ministry. This shows the zeal 
and love for God's word and His kingdom among the early 
settlers. In 1862, June 12-20, the synod held its annual 
meeting in the East Holden church, when the congregation 
was formally accepted as a member of the synod. 

The Indian outbreak in 1862 drove the settlers of Kan- 
diyohi and other western counties eastward, many taking 
refuge in the older settlements in Rice and Goodhue counties, 
and for about three years immigration to the western parts 
of the state virtually ceased; but when peace and quiet was 
restored the settlers returned. In 1863 Thomas Johnsen 
was ordained, and took charge of churches in Nicollet and 
other western counties, thus relieving Rev. Muus, who up 
to this time had served all the congregations as far west as 
Norway Lake and as far south as Blue Earth and Waseca 
counties. Rev. Johnsen for several years visited the Norwe- 
gian settlements extending from Emmet county, Iowa, to 
Douglas county, Minn., a distance of about 300 miles. 
Many of the congregations could be reached only twice a 
year; but the people were glad to hear the Word of God, to 
have marriage rites properly performed, to have their chil- 


dren baptized, and to partake of the Lord's Supper. Any- 
farther pastoral care of the souls was impossible, but the 
pioneers waited patiently and hoped the time w^ould arrive 
when they could have a pastor located in their midst. 
The great need of pastoral visits is seen from the number of 
infant baptisms. On a journey through Meeker and Kan- 
diyohi counties, in 1867, Rev. Johnsen baptized 55 children 
in three days, and nearly 200 during the year. Rev. Muus 
and Rev. N. Quammen, the latter having settled in Dakota 
county in 1866, baptized in 1867 about 250 and 100 
infants, respectively. Before 1868 synod congregations had 
been organized in all the counties in the state where many 
Norwegians had settled, even in counties bordering on the 
Dakota line, for example. Yellow Medicine. At that time 
the Norw^egian immigration to Minnesota "was very large, 
and great demands were made for permanent pastors. N. 
Th. Ylvisaker, a w^ell-known lay-preacher from Norway, 
arrived in 1868, was ordained, took charge of churches in 
and around Red Wing, and organized, in 1869, the first 
synod congregation in Minneapolis, Our Savior's church. 
Four of the fourteen men who were ordained in 1869 
located in Minnesota the same year, namely, J. A. Thorsen, 
Olmsted county; L. J. Markhus, Norway Lake; Peter 
Reque, Pope county; and 0. Norman, St. Paul. The last 
mentioned, especially, made long missionary journeys in the 
northwestern part of the state; and Otter Tail 
county, in particular, became a promising field for church 
work. Rev. A. Jakobsen, traveling on skis, visited Kandi- 
yohi county before 1867; and two years later Rev. N. 
Brandt, vice-president of the synod, made an extensive trip of 


three montlis, and preached in nearly every corner of the 
state where a few Norwegians could be gathered together. 
In 1870 Rev. H. A. Preus, the president of the synod, visited 
nine pastors and sixteen churches in Minnesota, going as far 
west as Pope county. These visits of the chief officers of the 
synod show the care and supervision exercised by them in 
the mission work and resulted in the organizing of several 
congregations and consequent calling of pastors, who 
settled in the new field. According to the parochial reports 
of 1869, Minnesota had 39 churches and 13 pastors ; but 
some of the congregations covered whole counties, thickly 
settled by Norwegians. 

One of the greatest missionaries of the Norwegian 
Synod, Rev. L. Carlsen, commenced to work in Douglas 
and Grant counties in 1872. After a few years of earnest 
labor and extensive travel, he removed to San Francisco, 
Cal., then to Australia; but returned to the United States 
later on. Rev. K. Bjorgo settled in Becker county in 1872, 
and became the first missionary of the synod in the Red 
River Valley on the Minnesota side. At the same time Rev. 
J. Hellestvedt commenced work at Sheyenne river, N. D„ 
being the first pastor west of the Red river. A great immi- 
gration to the Red River Valley took place in the early 
seventies. Rev. B. Harstad located at Mayville in 1874, 
and did a grand work in founding churches on the wide 
prairies of Dakota. Later on Rev. O. H. Aaberg was called 
to Grand Forks county, and took charge of the immigrants 
as far west as Devils Lake. Numerous churches were organ- 
ized on both sides of the Red river, especially in the vicinity 
of Crookston and Grafton. Even as far north as Pembina, 


■where some Icelanders had formed a settlement, the synod 
pursued its labor by securing Thorlakson, an Icelandic min- 
ister, to attend to the spiritual needs of his countrymen. 

At the annual meeting in Decorah, Io"wa, in 1876, it -was 
found expedient to divide the synod into three districts, so 
that the people of each section of the country might have a 
better opportunity to attend to and become acquainted 
with the increasing work of the church. The Minnesota 
District did not include the southern tier of counties in Min- 
nesota, but it extended clear to the Pacific ocean. But in 
1893 the territory west of the Rocky Mountains was organ- 
ized into the Pacific District. The Minnesota District was 
the smallest of the three in regard to church members, the 
poorest in regard to w^ealth; but it offered the greatest 
missionary field and had the best prospect of growth. 
Missionaries were in demand, and one clergyman preached 
attw^enty-one places. It took him several weeks to make the 
circuit. During the whole history of the district, the main 
work has been to gather the scattered Norwegian settlers 
into congregations, to preach to them the Word of 
God, and to have them partake of the sacraments of Jesus 
Christ. The missionary work is superintended by a 
board of three members, and the president of the district is 
ex-officio chairman. 

Rev. B. J. Muus was chosen president of the district in 
1876 ; Rev. N. Th. Ylvisaker, vice-president ; 0. K. Finseth, 
lay member of the church counsil ; Rev. H. G. Stub, secre- 
tary; and H. G. Rasmussen, treasurer. Rev. Muus w^as 
president of the district for seven years. He was a leading 
spirit, a powerful character, an organizer; but unyielding 


and harsh in dealing with human frailties. He was a 
pioneer in educational work, and through his efforts a 
Lutheran academy was started at the Holden parsonage 
about the year 1868. Only two terms were taught ; but in 
1874 Muus and a few others founded what is now St. Olaf 
College, at Northfield, thereby demonstrating that a higher 
institution of learning could be established and maintained 
by the Norwegian Lutherans in spite of a number of similar 
institutions supported by the state or by private people of 
other nationalities. 

When the controversy on predestination started in 
1880, many of the pastors and church members of the dis- 
trict were for some time in doubt w^hich party to join. Rev. 
Muus sided against the synod, and soon became the 
acknowledged leader of the opposition in the state ; this, 
together with troubles of a personal nature, was the main 
reason for his defeat as president of the district in 1883, 
when Rev. B. Harstad -was elected to succeed him. During 
the turbulent times when the predestination controversy 
vs^as raging, the meetings and discussions of the district 
resembled very much the proceedings of a Polish parlia- 
ment. At the meeting of the synod in Minneapolis, in 1884, 
the tv^o parties were so evenly divided that hardly any 
resolutions could be passed. Prof. Larsen was elected editor 
of Kirketidende by a majority of one vote; and the oppo- 
sition endeavored to prevent the ordination of those theo- 
logical candidates from Luther Seminary who sided with 
the Missouri Synod. At the meeting of the district at 
Norway Lake, in 1885, Rev. Muus refused to recognize 
Rev. Harstad as president, and boldly advocated that 


pastors who taught the tenets of the Missouri Synod 
should be deposed from their pulpits. Some congregations 
ousted their pastors, in some instances legal suits followed 
in regard to the possession of church property, and it may 
be said that terror and anarchy reigned supreme in the 
district for a w^hile. Nowhere w^as the struggle more bitter 
and determined than in the two large congregations at 
Norway Lake. By large majorities both of them deposed, in 
1886, their pastor, L. J. Markhus, who sided with the 
Missouri Synod ; but the minority, consisting of about 50 
families protested, declared the deposition of Rev. Markhus 
unconstitutional and a violation of the by-laws, and by main 
force entered the church buildings w^hich the opposition 
had w^ithout authority closed against them. The majority, 
however, carried Rev. Markhus bodily out of the churches, 
and he soon died a broken-dow^n man. The minority tried 
to retain the parsonage, but were sued for the possession of 
the same. The lawsuit continued for four years, went to 
the supreme court of Minnesota, and the minority was 
forced to give up all the property and pay damages and 
costs. But the Norwegian Synod, at its annual meeting at 
Stoughton, Wis., in 1887, endorsed the position of the 
minority. As a result of the predestination controversy, 
fully one-third of the church members in the district left the 
synod. Almost the whole of Goodhue county, with its 
large congregations, and all of the Red River Valley north 
of Goose river, seceded. In several places, however, the 
synod people organized new congregations and built new 
church edifices, having generally lost all they had paid to 
the old buildings. In other places again the synod congre- 


gations remained untouched, for example, in Minneapolis, 
St. Paul, Sacred Heart, Fergus Falls, Benson, Glenwood, 
etc. In some instances people left the synod and joined 
other Lutheran associations or organized independent con- 

Of late years, however, the district has enjoyed a rapid 
growth, partly, herhaps, on account of the split in the 
United Norwegian Church, and today it is stronger than it 
has ever been. The strongholds of the district are the 
country churches, especially those of Olmsted, Otter Tail, 
Pope, Renville, and Chippewa counties in Minnesota, and 
those in Traill and Cass counties in North Dakota. A num- 
ber of churches have in recent years also been added to 
the synod in Polk, Marshall, Kittson, Todd, and Mille Lacs 
counties in Minnesota. According to the synodical report 
for 1899, the Minnesota District contained nearly 350 
congregations, served by 100 pastors. The number of souls 
was about 50,000, with 30,000 communicants. Nearly 
3,000 infants were baptized in one year, and over 7,000 
services held. One hundred school teachers, some of whom 
were theological students, instructed the children in reli- 
gion in the parochial schools. At the synodical meeting 
held at Spring Grove, Minn., June 15-21, 1899, it was 
reported that during the past year fourteen new clergymen 
had taken up the work in the district, while only three had 
moved out, and one who had formerly seceded repented of 
his errors; nine churches had been dedicated; and nine new 
congregations, principally from the northern parts of the 
state, applied for membership. A farm of 160 acres and 
suitable buildings have lately been secured in Norman 


county, Minn., where a new orphans' home has been started, 
of which Rev. H. A. Blegen is superintendent. 

A large number of academies and other higher institu- 
tions of learning, treated of more fully in another portion 
of this volume, are controlled by members of the Minne- 
sota District, which shows the interest taken in education. 

Since 1892 Rev. K. Bjorgo has been president of the 
district, and since 1898 has devoted all his time to the 
duties as president, having no regular congregation under 
his charge. The president receives an annual salary of 
$1,200 and free house. His responsibilities are great, and 
he constantly travels from place to place in the district, 
encouraging and instructing pastors and people in the 
right use of the privileges God has given the church, as well 
as seeing that harmony and order prevail. 

While the Wisconsin and Iowa districts contain more 
of the old pioneers, both of the clergy and the lay 
members, the Minnesota District is known for its youthful 
spirit, energy, and impatience of restraint. But the dis- 
tricts work together in brotherly love and Christian fellow- 

Historical Review of tlie Minnesota Conference 
of tlie Augustana Synod. 

— BY — 


The Minnesota Conference was organized t^wo years 
before the Angustana Synod, in Centre City, Minn., on the 
8th of October, 1858. The organizers were Revs. E. Nore- 
Hus, P. Beckman, P. Carlson and J. P. C. Boren. The lay- 
delegates -were H&kan Svedberg, Centre City; Daniel Nelson, 
Marine; Ole Paulson, Carver; Hans C. Bjorklund, Ruseby. 
The conference numbered on the day of its organization five 
ministers, and thirteen congregations with 900 communi- 
cant members. The thirteen congregations of the confer- 
ence -were all, except one at Stockholm, Wis., located in 
the state of Minnesota, namely, at Centre City, Marine, 
St. Paul, Vasa, Red Wing, Cannon River, St. Peter, Scan- 
dian Grove, Spring Garden, Union, Gotaholm and Vista. 
Within the conference were five church buildings, the first 
having been built in Red Wing, in 1856. During the first 
year of its existence the expenses of the conference amounted 
to about $1,500. The pioneers of the conference started 
out, from the first meeting of the conference, full of hope 



and courage in their missionary work. In fact it was then 
and is now the hopeful missionary w^ork that gave and still 
gives to the Minnesota Conference its character and success. 
Speaking of the first meeting of the conference in 1858, Dr. 
Norelius, about forty years later, says: "I have been pre- 
sent at many meetings since then, and I have seen greater 
gatherings of people, but I have never witnessed such deeply 
felt interest, such sincerity and so much enthusiasm as I saw 
at this our first meeting. The movement w^as not only new 
to us, but the Spirit of God was mighty in our churches. 
The meeting was filled with a holy inspiration and spiritual 
pow^er. Our souls 'were embued with a joyful courage. 
When w^e had succeeded in organizing our forces, w^e felt that 
w^e had made a great progress. We heeded no difficulties, 
everything seemed to us possible." 

Part of the minutes of this first , meeting reads as fol- 
lows : " Services were held every afternoon, and on Sunday 
t^wo services -were held. The church was always filled with 
attentive hearers. The members of the conference were 
cordially and royally entertained, and many of our dear 
countrymen will long cherish the memory of this meeting. 
On Sunday a collection for the treasury of the conference 
was taken, amounting to $5.09." The Swedish-Lutherans 
in Minnesota were united and ready to take up the mis- 
sionary work for the temporal and spiritual welfare of the 
Swedes in the Northwest. They have during the past forty 
years not only taken an active part in the w^ork of the 
Swedish-Lutheran church throughout the United States, but 
also and especially labored with faithfulness and sacrifice for 
the advancement of the material and spiritual interests 


amongst the hundreds of Swedish settlements in Minnesota, 
the Dakotas and Wisconsin. At a very early date in the 
history of the conference efforts were put forth for the 
promotion of higher education. The people of Minnesota 
felt it to be their duty to have in their midst an institution 
of learning, and in 1862 a beginning was made by the 
establishment of a school which today is Gustavus Adolph- 
us College, in St. Peter, one of the leading educational 
institutions in the Northwest. A few years later, in 1865, 
Dr. Norelius began the work of caring for orphans, and so 
was established the orphans' home at Vasa, Minn., which is 
today supported by the conference. This institution, where 
on the average 50 children are annually cared for, has been 
very liberally supported, although the misfortunes of the 
institution has tried the liberality of the people; once the 
home was destroyed in a tornado and once by fire. This 
institution is governed by a board of trustees elected by the 
conference. In harmony with this work of mercy, the con- 
ference has also maintained a hospital, the Bethesda Hos- 
pital, in St. Paul. This institution was established in 1881 
and is today one of the best equipped hospitals in the North- 
w^est. These institutions are indications of the united and 
faithful work and consecration of the Swedish-Lutherans in 
Minnesota. Much has been done, but much more could have 
been done had not the conference had its hands full with 
missionary efforts; congregations had to be organized; 
churches and parsonages had to be built, and schools estab- 
lished. Realizing the fact that they are in America, and that 
they and their children must naturally more and more make 
use of the language of the country, the Swedish-Lutherans 


in the eighties began to estabhsh English churches under the 
auspices of the conference. But owing to the large immi- 
gration, and also to the opposition the Lutherans encoun- 
tered on the part of other missionary eflforts made by those 
who labored for the tearing asunder of the Lutheran 
churches, the conference had its hands full in taking care of 
its own churches, and the English -work was somew^hat 

The conference is now stronger than ever, having been 
faithful in its defense of the doctrines and practices of the 
Ltttheran church. The conference today, after more than 
forty years of zealous -work, numbers nearly 140 ministers, 
340 congregations with a total membership of 70,000, out 
of whom 40,000 are communicant members. There are 
within the conference about 275 church buildings and 100 
parsonages, valued at more than one million dollars. In 
one year the parochial schools had an attendance of 7,132 ■ 
scholars, and the Sunday schools 13,536. 

In order more eifectively to carry on the work, the con- 
ference is divided into 15 mission districts, viz : Chisago 
district with 22 congregations ; St. Paul, 18 ; Goodhue, 20 ; 
N. Minnesota Valley, 20 ; Pacific, 35 ; St. Croix Valley, 24 ; 
Alexandria, 27 ; S. Minnesota Valley, 19 ; N. E. Dakota, 16 ; 
Big Stone, 22 ; Lake Superior, 28 ; Central, 13 ; James River, 
12 ; Red River, 33 ; Mississippi, 15 ; and Canada Mission,10. 
With such an arrangement the different parts of the confer- 
ence fill their mission in their special field and at the same 
time present to the world one undivided and strong Luther- 
an church among the thousands of Swedish-Americans in 
promising Northwest. 

Biographies of Scandinavians in 

Aaker, Lars K. , state senator and pioneer — Alexandria — 
bom 19 Sept., 1825, in Lardal, Telemarken, Norway; died 
1895. He graduated from Hviteseid normal school; emi- 
grated to the U. S. at the age of twenty; settled in Dane 
county. Wis., where he taught school for a while; then 
farmed, and moved to Goodhue county, Minn., in 1857. 
Here he took a claim; was elected to the state legislature at 
the time of the outbreak of the Civil War, but enlisted in 
the Third Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, and was commis- 
sioned first lieutenant in company D, which was composed 
of Scandinavian soldiers, with Col. H. Mattson as captain. 
He served in Kentucky and in Tennessee, but, on account of 
iU health, resigned in 1862. Aaker represented his district 
in the legislature in 1859, 1860, 1862, 1867, 1869, and was 
state senator in 1881. He lived on his farm in Goodhue 
county until 1869; then moved to Alexandria, where for six 
years he was register of the U. S. land office, and engaged 
in general merchandise for nine years; was receiver of the U. 
S. land office inCrookston in 1884-93. Aaker was one of the 
first Scandinavian legislators in the state, an active Repub- 



lican, and a delegate to tlie first convention of the party- 
held in Wisconsin in 1856. He -was widely and favorably 
known throiaghotit the whole Northw^est; was married 
twice, and had children by both w^ives. 

Almen, Louis G., clergyman — Balaton — born 30 March, 
1846, in Tosso, Dalsland, Sweden. At the age of twenty- 
four he emigrated to this country; worked at first as a 
common laborer; was a railroad contractor in Minnesota 
and Wisconsin for a couple of years; and after having 
attended Augustana College, Rock Island, 111., for three 
years, he graduated from the theological department of 
this institution in 1876. His first charge was at Beaver, 
Iroquois county. 111.; but after having remained there for 
about three years, he became for one year a traveling mis- 
sionary in Yellow Medicine and Lac qui Parle counties, 
Minnesota; then accepted a call to New London, and set- 
tled at his present place in 1893. For over tAvelve years he 
was editor of the church and temperance departments of 
Skaffaren — the semi-official organ of the Swedish Lutheran 
Minnesota Conference. For a long time he has been the 
most ardent temperance advocate of any of the ministers 
of his denomination in the state of Minnesota, and is one 
of the ablest parliamentarians in the conference. Almen 
was married to Alice C. Johnson in 1876; they have several 
children living. 

Anderson, Abel, clergyman and educator — Montevideo 
—born 5 Dec, 1847, in Dane county. Wis. His mother's 
ancestors had been officers in the Norwegian army for 
several generations; in 1830 she married Bjorn Anderson, a 
farmer's son and a Quaker, but a marriage between the 


daughter of an officer and a farmer was in those days, and 
to a certain extent is yet, looked upon with great disfavor; 
besides, the young couple had not only sinned against the 
social rank, but, what was worse still, Anderson did not 
belong to the state church, the Lutheran. To avoid all 
social and religious unpleasantness, they emigrated to the 
U. S. in 1836; lived a year in Rochester, N. Y., and four years 
in Illinois; settled in Wisconsin in 1841, being therefore 
among the very earliest Scandinavian immigrants in this 
country. Abel Anderson, who is a brother to the well- 
known Prof. R. B. Anderson, attended Albion Acad- 
emy two years and the University of Wisconsin for a 
couple of years; graduated from Luther College, Decorah, 
Iowa, in 1872, and two years later completed his theo- 
logical studies at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Mo. 
From 1874-87 he had charge of a church belonging to the 
Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Synod at Muskegon, 
Mich., being also school inspector for several years; took 
active part in politics; was a delegate to the Republican 
national convention vfhich nominated Blaine for president 
in 1884, being one of the first Scandinavians in this country 
who was a delegate to a national convention of this party; 
was a candidate for representative to the state legislature 
tvdce, but his party being in the minority, was defeated 
both times. Anderson came to Appleton, Minn., in 1887, 
and settled in Montevideo the following year, having 
charge of churches at both places. He has been instructor 
in ancient and modem languages, in which he is considered 
to be quite proficient, at Windom Institute, and was one of 
its trustees. He has contributed frequently to the Chicago 


Tribune and other papers, both in the Norwegian and the 
EngHsh language. In 1874 he -was married to Mary Olson, 
of Cambridge, Wis. Anderson has two brothers who are 
married to two of his wife's sisters. They have several 
children living, of w^hom two daughters have studied at 
Carleton College, Northfield, Minn. 

Anderson, Berndt, journalist— St. Paul— bom 2 Aug., 
1840, in Lund, Sweden. After having completed a course 
at the University of Lund, he was employed in the depart- 
ment of the interior, Stockholm, from 1865-73, then went 
abroad, studying the natural sciences in Denmark and 
Germany. In 1880 he emigrated to this country, and has 
most of the time since been editor-in-chief of Skaffaren — 
the latter being the organ of the Minnesota Conference of 
the Swedish Lutheran church, and advocating Republican 
principles. The predominant features of Anderson's writ- 
ings are clearness and learning. In 1893 he was appointed 
dairy and food commissioner by Governor Nelson, being the 
first Sw^ede in Minnesota who -was ever appointed chief of 
a state department, and was re-appointed twice. At the 
time of his appointment certain individuals seemed to think 
that it was not wise to appoint to such responsible posi- 
tion any one except a practical farmer — ^in most cases the 
male members of the farming community have neither a 
practical nor a theoretical knowledge of how^ cheese and 
butter are made. It did not, however, take long before 
Anderson proved that he was the right man for the place, 
and soon became a terror to the oleomargarine dealers, 
several of w^liom he successfully prosecuted. On account of 
his thorough scientific knowledge of dairy products and his 






conscientious attention to the duties imposed upon him, he 
did much to raise the standard of Minnesota cheese and 
butter; and certainly was one of the ablest dairy and food 
commissioners the state ever had. Anderson has for several 
years taken a very active part in politics and has been a 
delegate to many Republican local and state conventions. 
He is married and has grown children. 

Anderson, Daniel, state legislator — Cambridge — boirn 
3 Feb., 1842, in Hassela, Helsingland, Sweden. He came 
with his parents directly from Sweden to Chisago Lake, 
Minn., in 1851. They moVed to Kreebom county in 1857. 
At the outbreak of the Civil War, Anderson joined the Tenth 
Minnesota Infantry, fought at Tupelo, Miss., and served in 
the army for three years. He came to Isanti county in 1868 
and was elected county auditor the same year ; since he has 
been county surveyor, county commissioner, and judge of 
probate. He was a member of the state legislature in 1873, 
1875-77, 1879, and 1889. Anderson is a plain, unassuming 
man, who has hardly a common school education, though 
Col. Mattson taught him how to drive oxen. In the legis- 
lative manuals he was always styled "laborer;" yet he is 
considered to have been one of the most influential Scan- 
dinavian legislators in the state. He has gone through all 
the adversities of pioneer life. Anderson is a life-long 
Republican, and was married in 1869. 

Aretander, J. W,, lawyer— Minneapolis— born 2 Oct., 
1849, in Stockholm, Sweden. His father, who belonged to 
one of the oldest families of Norway, was for some years 
a professor in Sweden, but returned to his native land in 
1854. Young Aretander received a college education in 


Skien, graduated with honors from the University of Nor- 
way, was a journalist for a while, but his radical views 
brought him into trouble, and he became a political exile 
and emigrated to America in 1870. For a couple of years 
he was connected with a Norwegian paper in Chicago, where 
he also studied law, and was admitted to the bar in Minne- 
sota, in 1874. For about ten years he practiced law at 
Willmar, and has been located in Minneapolis since 1886. 
Arctander has a great reputation as a criminal lawyer, and 
has been very successful in handling personal damage cases. 
He is author of Practical Handbook of Laws of Minne- 
sota, published in the Norwegian language in 1876, and 
thoroughly revised and published in Norwegian and Swedish 
twenty years later. He has also translated Henrik Ibsen's 
play. The Masterbuilder, into English. The 17th of May, 
1897, a magnificent statue of the famous Norwegian violin- 
ist, Ole Bull, was put up in the main park of Minneapolis, 
mostly through the untiring energy and self-sacrifice of 
Arctander. For about two years he spoke, wrote, stormed, 
until his efforts were crowned with success ; and in connec- 
tion with the Ole Bull statue — the only statue in the public 
parks of Minneapolis — Arctander's name -will long be 
remembered with gratitude throughout the Northwest. In 
1898 he made a great stir by publicly announcing that he had 
been converted to God, although he at the time was a mem- 
ber of the American Methodist Church, which he had joined 
in 1897 and which is supposed to accept as members only 
such persons as profess to have been converted. 

Arosin, 0. H., county treasurer — St. Paul — born 14 
May, 1861, in Stockholm, Sweden. He received a high 


school education in his native city; learnt the printer's 
trade; emigrated to America in 1879, coming directly to St. 
Paul; was connected with the Swedish paper Skaffaren 
for a couple of years; started a jeweler store in 1883; 
worked in the postoffice in 1883-7; was elected assembly- 
man in 1894, being re-elected two years later, and served 
as president of the assembly for tw^o years; and w^as elected 
county treasurer in 1898 by a small majority. During all 
these years of public activity, Arosin has retained his jeweler 
store. He is a member of the English Lutheran church; 
affiliates with the Republican party; belongs to the orders 
of Free Masons and Odd Fellows; was married to Laura 
Nelson, of St. Paul, in 1891, by whom he has a couple of 

Askeland, Hallward Tobias, librarian and musician- 
Minneapolis — ^bom 30 Nov., 1860, in Stavanger, Norway. 
He completed a course in the Latin school of his native city; 
emigrated in 1875, coming directly to Minneapolis ; gra- 
duated from the literary department of Augsburg Seminary 
in 1882; taught music for a few years; was editor of 
Felt-Raabet, the first Norwegian prohibition paper pub- 
lished in Minnesota, from 1886—89, but the paper ceased; 
and he has ever since 1889 been librarian of the Franklin 
Avenue branch of the public library. Askeland takes great 
interest in music and literature, and for several years was 
organist of the Norwegian Lutheran Trinity Church, and 
secretary of what is now the Minnesota Total Abstinence 
Association. In 1883 he was married to Julia Skallerud of 
Minneapolis. They have several children. 

Bendeke, Karl, physician and surgeon — Minneapolis — 


bom 1841, in Kristiania, Norway. After going through the 
regular old country college course, he was admitted to the 
University of Norway as a student in 1859. He studied 
medicine there from 1863-68, when he was appointed sur- 
geon on board an emigrant vessel which brought him to 
this country. He settled first in Chicago, where he practiced 
his profession for tw^o years; moved to Minnesota in 1870; 
located in Minneapolis in 1875, where he has since resided. 
Bendeke has at different times visited foreign medical insti- 
tutions for the purpose of extending his studies in certain 
specialties, principally diseases of the eye and ear. In 1877 
he visited the eye clinics of London and Paris ; in 1881 
attended the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary for three 
months, and in 1891 spent about the same length of time at 
the university clinics of Berlin, Germany, where he studied 
the most modern methods of research and treatment in the 
various branches of medicine and surgery. His professional 
skill in conjunction with his long residence in the country 
has naturally given him a reputation as one of the leading 
Scandinavian physicians of the Northwest. In 1869 he was 
married to Josephine Fauske, of Bergen, Norway. They 
have one daughter, who is an accomplished violinist. 

Bennet, C. C, merchant— Minneapolis— born 1847, in 
Malmo, Sweden. He is the son of Baron Wilhelm Bennet, 
w^ho was an officer in the Swedish army. Young Bennet re- 
ceived a good education ; ~went to Copenhagen, Denmark, at 
the age of fifteen, to learn the furrier's trade ; emigrated to 
Montreal, Canada, in 1867, where he worked at his trade 
for over a year; then traveled through several of the Eastern 
states, but returned to Montreal to become a member and 


manager of a far company. In 1877 he went to Omaha, 
Neb., and opened a wholesale house in furs ; but as the busi- 
ness proved unprofitable, he moved shortly after-wards to 
Minneapolis, where he has ever since been engaged in his 
trade. Always taking an active interest in the social life of 
his countrymen, Bennet has several times been president of 
the Swedish society Norden. He has been a prominent 
speaker at many important Scandinavian festivals and 
other great gatherings. He w^as the chief promoter in 
organizing, in 1888, Battery B of the First Battalion, which 
is composed mostly of Swedes; Bennet — generally known 
as Captain Bennet — has been commander of the battery 
ever since its organization. In 1874 he was married to a 
Canadian lady. They have grown children. 

Berg, Albert, secretary of State— Centre City— born 25 
June, 1861, in Centre City, Minn. His parents were among 
the early Sw^edish settlers at Chisago Lake. He attended 
Carleton College, Northfield, in 1876-78; then studied at 
Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, for a couple of years. 
Berg traveled as a salesman through the Western states for 
four years, then taught school for three years, was elected 
register of deeds of Chisago county in 1886, and was 
re-elected two years later. He was a delegate to the Repub- 
lican national convention at Minneapolis in 1892, and at 
the state convention that year was a strong candidate for 
secretary of state. In 1894 he was elected secretary of 
state, and has since been re-elected twice. Berg is a 
Lutheran, quite a good singer, and is married. 

Bergsland, H. H., educator— Red Wing— bom 23 Jan., 
1858, in Fillmore county, Minn. His father emigrated from 


Telemarken, Norway, to the United States in 184-6, and his 
mother came from the same place a few years later. They 
settled in Fillmore county a couple of years before he 
was bom. After having received a common school educa- 
tion, young Bergsland entered Red Wing Seminary in 
1880, and graduated from the theological department of 
this institution five years later ; then attended a theological 
school in Kristiania, Norway, for tw^o years, after which he 
accepted the position of theological professor in Red Wing 
Seminary. From 1889 to 1897 Bergsland was president of 
this institution, but at the latter date he again became 
theological professor. In 1895 he published a small pam- 
phlet in answ^er to the fanatical attack made upon him by 
Rev. O. S. Meland. In 1887 he w^as married to Anna L. 
Thompson, of Fillmore county, Minn. 

BieFmann, Adolph, state auditor— Rochester— bom 19 
Nov., 1842, in Kristiania, Norway. Biermann emigrated to 
America at the age of nineteen and at once entered the 
Union army, enlisting in company I of the Twenty-fourth 
Wisconsin Volunteers, serving till the close of the war, and 
participating in the battles of Perrysville, Ky., and Mur- 
freesboro, Tenn. In 1866 Biermann made a visit to Nor- 
way, and upon his return settled at Rochester. He was 
elected county auditor of Olmsted county in 1874, w^hich 
position he held till 1880. In 1875 and 1882 he was placed 
in nomination by the Democratic party as secretary of 
state; in 1884, as representative to Congress; in 1883, as 
candidate for governor. He was defeated. In 1885 he was 
appointed collector of internal revenue for Minnesota by 
President Cleveland. In 1890 he was elected, on the Demo- 


cratic ticket, to the office of state auditor, but after having 
served one term was defeated for the same position in 1894. 
Biermann is still a bachelor. 

Biorn, Ludvig- Marinus, clergyman — Zumbrota — bom 7 
Sept., 1835, in Moss, Norway. His father was a minister 
in the state church of Norway, and some of his ancestors 
held high military and ecclesiastical positions in Slesvig. 
Biorn became a student at the University of Norway in 
1855, graduating as cand. theol. in 1861. The following 
year he emigrated to America, being called as pastor by the 
congregation of the Norwegian Synod in Manitowoc 
county. Wis. Here Biorn met w^ith all the hardships inci- 
dent to pioneer life. The war, too, added to the diffi- 
culty ; company F of the Fifteenth Wisconsin Regiment was 
mostly taken from his congregation. In 1879 he removed 
to Goodhue county, Minn., to the congregations of Land 
and Minneola. Biorn was one of the leaders of the Anti- 
Missourians in the great predestination controversy, and 
w^hen, after the division of the synod, the United Church 
was organized out of three Norwegian Lutheran denomina- 
tions, Biorn became the vice-president of the nevr body. 
The North, in 1893, says: "Biorn has a frank, honest, 
prepossessing face. He is a thoroughbred gentleman, a 
popular preacher, an able writer, and last but not least, 
there is a vein of true poetry in his psychical make-up -which 
has found expression in a number of poems, two or three of 
which are gems of their kind." One of his sons is practicing 
law in St. Paul. 

BjoPgo, K„ clergyman — Red Wing— bom 2 Oct., 1847, 
in Voss, Bergen stift, Norway. He came to the United States 


in his infancy; graduated from Luther College, Decorah, 
low^a, in 1870, and three years later completed his theologi- 
cal studies at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Mo.; was 
pastor of several churches at and around Lake Park, Becker 
county, Minn., for about fifteen years, and accepted a call to 
Red Wing in 1888. Bjorgo was elected president of the 
Minnesota District of the Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran 
Synod in 1891, and has been one of the chief promoters in 
establishing the Young Ladies' Lutheran Seminary at Red 
Wing — the only Scandinavian institution of its kind in 
America. He was married to Ingeborg Lien, of Decorah, 
Iowa, in 1876 ; they have several children. 

Boekman, Mareus Olaus, clergyman and educator- 
Minneapolis — ^born 9 Jan., 1849, in Langesund, Kristian- 
sand stift, Norway. His father was receiver of customs at 
Ekersund, where young Bockman received his early school 
training, and after having completed the course at Aars and 
Voss' Latin school, Kristiania, he graduated with high hon- 
ors from the theological department of the University of 
Norway in 1874, w^as ordained and accepted a call from a 
congregation in Goodhue county, Minn., the following year, 
remaining there for eleven years. Rev. J. C. Jensson, in 
American Lutheran Biographies, says: 'When the 
great controversy concerning election and conversion arose 
in the Norwegian Synod, Bockman took part with the Anti- 
Missourians and became one of the leaders in opposing the 
Missourians. In 1886 the Anti-Miss ourian faction estab- 
lished a theological seminary of their own at Northfield, 
Minn., and Bockman was called to fill one of the chairs at 
this institution. From 1887-90 he was one of the editors 




of Latberske Vidneabj'rd, the church paper of the Anti- 
Missourians. In 1890 Bockman became a member of the 
faculty of Augsburg Seminary. He is a bright scholar and 
one of the most eloquent Norwegian preachers in this coun- 
try.' Since 1893 he has served as president of the United 
Church Seminary. Bockman has been married twice, and 
has several children. 

Boeckmaun, Eduard, physician and surgeon — St. Paul- 
born 25 March, 1849, in Ostre Toten, Hamar stift, Norway. 
His father was an officer in the army, and later became post- 
master at Moss. Young Boeckmann received a carefal col- 
lege education ; graduated from the medical department of 
the University of Norway in 1874; visited Copenhagen, 
Utrecht, Paris, and Heidelberg, for the purpose of studying 
the diseases of the eye ; practiced his profession in Bergen for 
ten years, meanwhile visiting the United States three times 
and practicing medicine at shorter periods in different parts 
of this country. He came to America first in 1882 ; has 
crossed the Atlantic Ocean over twenty times ; and located 
permanently in St. Paul in 1886, where he has ever since 
resided. Boeckmann at first became noted as a specialist of 
the diseases of the eye, but has since engaged in every branch 
of medical practice and surgical operations — in all of which 
he has, by general consent, become skillful. He was married 
to Anne Sophie Dorothea Gill, of Bergen, in 1875 ; they have 

Boen, Haldor E., congressman — Fergus Falls — born 2 
Jan., 1851, in Sondre Aurdal, Yalders, Norway. At the age 
of seventeen he left his native country and came to Mower 
county, Minn., but settled in Otter Tail county three years 


later. Here he worked in the county auditor's office for 
a while, taught in the public schools for five years, and was 
an active agitator of the Farmers' Alliance and People's 
party movement. In 1880 he was county commissioner, 
and for a number of years acted as deputy sheriff. During 
the years of 1885-89 he w^as a member of the executive com- 
mittee of the state Alliance. He was elected, on the Repub- 
lican ticket, register of deeds of Otter Tail county in 1888, 
and re-elected on the Alliance ticket two years later. In 
1892 the People's party nominated him for Congress, and 
he was elected by a very small majority; but w^as defeated 
in 1894. Boen introduced a number of radical bills while in 
Congress, and succeeded in getting one measure through. 
The Boen Law provides that criminal cases in the U. S. 
courts must be tried in the district where the offense was 
committed. Boen does not seem to possess the educational 
qualifications or the mental and moral make-up to properly 
fill the high position to which he was elected. Since 1895 he 
has been editor and publisher of the Fergus Falls Globe. 
In 1874 he w^as married to Margit G. Brekke ; they have 
several children. 

Borup, Charles William W., pioneer— St. Paul— born 10 
Dec, 1806, in Copenhagen, Denmark; died in 1859. At the 
age of twenty-one he came to the United States, remained 
in New^ York for about a year, then went to Lake Superior, 
and, as an Indian trader, entered the service of the Amer- 
ican fur company, of Avhich concern he finally became the 
chief agent, residing at La Pointe for several years. Borup 
moved to St. Paul in 1849, and four years later he, in con- 
nection with his brother-in-law, Charles H. Oakes, organ- 


ized the first bank in the territory of Minnesota. As an 
illustration of the banking capacity in those early days, it 
may be mentioned that, for lack of funds, the banking con- 
cern "was unable to pay a check of $130 "which a customer 
desired to get cashed. But Borup soon improved the bank- 
ing business, and became the best financier in the territory. 
It is claimed that his parents and ancestors "were prominent 
people, and that he received a careful education in Denmark, 
graduating as a physician, but never practiced the pro- 
fession. It is not kno"wn "what caused him to sacrifice his 
high standing and bright future in his native country. Here 
he endured the hardships of a Western pioneer, associating 
for years a great deal with the Indians; he, like many 
other early pioneers, married a woman who had Indian 
blood in her veins, by whom he had many children. One of 
his sons became a captain in the United States army; his 
daughters, w^ho are claimed to have been very handsome, were 
all married to men of prominence. Borup was not only the 
first banker in Minnesota, he was also the first consul who 
represented a Scandinavian country in Minnesota, and 
donated a lot in St. Paul to the Methodists, in 1853, on con- 
dition that a Scandinavian church should be built thereon, 
and this was the first Scandinavian religious organization 
in the state. His son, Theo. Borup, is a leading business 
man in St. Paul. 

Boyesen, Alf E., lawyer— St. Paul— born 21 April, 1857, 
in Kristiania, Norway. His father was a captain in the 
Norwegian army, and he is a brother to the well-known 
author Hjalmar Hjort Boyesen. At the age of thir- 
teen Boyesen emigrated to this country, attended Ur- 


bana University, Urbana, Ohio, for four years; studied 
law a short time with his brother I. K. Boyesen in Chicago; 
was admitted to the bar in MinneapoKs, Minn., where he 
also had studied in private offices, in 1880; practiced his 
profession in Fargo, N. D., for seven years; moved to St. 
Paul in 1887; in 1890 entered into partnership with M. D. 
Munn and N. M. Thygeson; and formed a partnership 
with P. J. McLaughlin in 1897. Few law firms in St. Paul 
have a larger practice than the one of w^hich Boyesen is a 
member, and Boyesen himself had an extensive practice in 
North Dakota, and is now recognized as one of the leading 
Scandinavian attorneys in the Northwest. In 1883 he was 
married to Florence Knapp, a daughter of Frederick M. 
Knapp, of Racine, Wis. 

Brandt, Christian, journalist— St. Paul— bom 28 Jan., 
1853, in Yestre Slidre, Valders, Norway. His ancestors 
came from Germany to Denmark, and moved from there to 
Norway at the fall of the Struense and Brandt's adminis- 
tration. He received a college and military education in 
Kristiania, was appointed second lieutenant in the army at 
the age of tw^enty-one, w^ent to Germany the following year 
to study civil engineering at the polytechnic school in 
Aachen, and emigrated to the United States in 1876. His 
intention was to engage in civil engineering, but failing to 
find employment, he became for two years city editor of 
Daglig Skandiaaven in Chicago; was assistant editor of 
Faedrelandet og Emigranten, La Crosse, Wis., for a 
couple of years; bought Red River Posten, which was 
published in Fargo, N. D., but sold it the following 
year; became editor-in-chief of Nordvesten in 1881, and 


later publisher. From 1887-89 he was inspector general of 
the National Guard of Minnesota, with the rank of briga- 
dier-general. In 1890 he was appointed deputy collector of 
internal revenue; started the Norwegian newspaper, Heim- 
dal, the following year, but sold it in 1893. He was for two 
years assistant editor of Minneapolis Tidende, and 
returned in the spring of 1897 to Nordvesten, of which 
paper he at present is editor-in-chief. During the war 
with Spain Brandt organized a Scandinavian regiment, of 
which he was elected colonel, but it was not called into ser- 
vice. He was the first to advocate the election of two Scan- 
dinavians to state offices, which resulted in the election of 
Col. H. Mattson as secretary of state and A. E. Rice as lieu- 
tenant-governor, in 1886. In 1878 he was married to 
Bessie Sorenson, of Chicago; they have children. 

Breda, 0. J., educator — Minneapolis — ^born 29 Apr., 
1853, in Horten, Norway. He received a classical educa- 
tion; graduated from the University of Norway; proceeded 
to this country in 1873; graduated from Concordia Theo- 
logical Seminary, of St. Louis, in 1875; accepted a call to 
St. Paul, but soon embraced the opportunity offered him 
to fill a professor's chair in Luther College. Before entering 
upon his new duties, however, he returned to Noway, where 
for two years he busied himself with philological studies, and 
from 1879 to 1882 did very creditable work as professor of 
Latin and Norwegian in Luther College. After another 
year's study in Norway he received a call to the professor- 
ship of Scandinavian languages just then established in the 
University of Minnesota. A leave of absence of one year 
was improved in further fitting himself for his new duties. 


which he assumed in the fall of 1884. The chair of Scandi- 
navian languages, or "Scandinavian language," as the 
intelligent lawmakers had styled the study thus first raised 
to the dignity of a professorship in Minnesota, for some 
time called for but little attention, and Breda assisted 
regularly at teaching Latin, his ability and learning being 
generally acknow^ledged. In 1899 he resigned and returned 
to his native land. He was married in 1886 in Horten, 
Norway, to Emilie Braarud. They have no children. 

Brohough, G. 0., educator— Red Wing— bom in Eidsvold, 
Norway. He came to Red Wing in his early boyhood, where 
he attended the city public schools. At an early age he 
entered the State Normal School at River Falls, Wis. After 
graduating from this institution he taught several terms in 
the public schools. Not finding his thirst for knowledge 
satisfied, he entered the state university at Minneapolis, 
graduating with the class of 1889. Siace then he took a 
course in the law^ department of his alma mater, receiving 
the degree of LL. B. in 1892. During his senior year he 
received a prize offered by the American Institute of Civics 
for the best thesis on economics. For several years he has 
been professor at the Red Wing Seminary. Brohough was 
superintendent of the public schools of Red Wing for some 
time. His brother, Chr. 0. Brohough, came .to America in 
1869, and has since been pastor of Hauge's Synod congre- 
gations in Red Wing, Chicago, and the Twin Cities. He has 
published several books, among which may be mentioned: 
Vaegteren, Sangbog tor Sondagsakolen, Elling Eiel- 
sens Lir og Virksoxnhed, Guitar Laere, etc. 

Brown, Fred P., secretary of state— Blue Earth City— 


bom 12 Aug., 1838, in Kobbervig, Kristiansand stift, Nor- 
way. His grand-father was Bishop Nordahl Brun. At the 
age of nine Brown went to sea as a cabin boy, and for nine 
years led the hard and hazardous life of a sailor. In 1854 
he emigrated to America, settling in Dane county. Wis. In 
1862 he moved to Rochester, Minn., and located at Blue 
Earth City, his present home, in the year following. Brown 
was register of deeds of Faribault county for eighteen years. 
In 1890 he was elected secretary of state on the Republican 
ticket, and re-elected tw^o years later. He is married, and 
has several children. 

Brusletten, C. L., legislator— Kenyon— born 2 Sept., 
1853, in Hallipgdal, Norway. He came to America with 
his parents in 1858, settling in the neighborhood of his 
present home. He attended the district school in winter 
and worked on the farm in summer. In 1879 he graduated 
from the Northwestern Business College at Madison, Wis., 
and since that time has been engaged in the mercantile busi- 
ness. Brusletten was postmaster at Kenyon for eight years 
and held many of the most important offices of his town- 
ship and village. The farmers' elevator at Kenyon was 
built largely through his efforts, and he has served as treas- 
urer of this and as vice-president of the Citizen's State Bank 
of Kenyon, since those institutions were established. He 
also owns a large and valuable farm in Kenyon, and has 
farms in other places in the Northwest. He was elected to a 
seat in the lower branch of the state legislature in 1896, and 
re-elected to the same position in 1898. His legislative 
record was creditable. 

Cappelen, F, W., engineer— Minneapolis— bom 31 Oct., 


1857, in Drammen, Norway. He received his early educa- 
tion in Fredrikstad, and came out at the head of his class. 
Having completed a course and graduated at a technical 
school in Orebro, Sweden, he continued his studies at the 
polytechnic institute in Dresden, Germany, and w^as the 
first Norw^egian w^ho distinguished himself at a final 
examination in that institution. In 1880 he emigrated to 
America ; -was appointed assistant engineer on the Northern 
Pacific R. R., in Montana, and bridge engineer on the same 
road in 1883. At the latter date he removed to Minne- 
apolis, and from 1886 to 1892 served as bridge engineer of 
the city of Minneapolis. By this time he was generally 
admitted to rank among the leading engineers of the North- 
west, and he -was appointed city engineer, which position 
he held for half a dozen years. The most noteworthy monu. 
ments to his engineering skill are the Northern Pacific 
railroad bridge near the state university of Minnesota and 
the reservoirs of the public -waterworks of Minneapolis. 
His wife is of German birth ; they have several sons. 

Carlsen, L, A. K., clergyman — Brandon — bom 6 Nov., 
1842, in Trondhjem, Norway. His father was pastor in the 
state church of Norway. Young Carlsen w^as educated in 
his native city and at the University of Norway; accepted a 
call from a couple of Norwegian Synod congregations in 
Douglas and Grant counties, Minn., in 1872; was called to 
San Francisco, Cal., in 1877, and to Sydney, Melbourne, 
and other places in Australia, in 1879 ; returned to Douglas 
county in 1887 ; made another trip to Australia, visiting the 
Hawaii Islands and New Zealand, in 1890 ; and was again 
called to take charge of the missionary work among the 

I'KOF. J. s. cai;lkiin. IMIXXFAI'KLIS. 



Norwegians in those distant colonies, but for some time has 
been located at Great Falls, Montana. Carlsen is considered 
to be one of the greatest missionaries in the Norwegian 

Carlson, Johan S., educator — Minneapolis — born 8 Nov., 
1857, in Frodinge, SriiUland, Sweden. He came with his 
parents to the United States when he was quite young, 
and was brought up on the farm. After having attended 
Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, Minn., for a couple 
of years, he graduated from Augustana College, Rock 
Island, 111., in 1885; then studied for two years at the 
University of Upsala, Sweden, and completed the course for 
candidate of philosophy at that institution in 1887. The 
same year he accepted a call to Gustavus Adolphus college 
as assistant professor of English and mathematics; was 
elected professor of history and philosophy of that institu- 
tion the following year, which position he occupied for ten 
years, and in which capacity he made an excellent record. 
Augustana College conferred the degree of Master of Arts 
upon Carlson in 1889, and in 1894 he again went to 
Sweden and completed the course for doctor of philosophy, 
which degree was conferred upon him by the famous Uni- 
versity of Upsala in 1895, his thesis being Om FilosoBen i 
Aznerika. He was elected editor-in-chief of Minnesota 
Stats Tidning, the semi-official organ of the Swedish 
Lutheran Minnesota Conference, in 1898, and the next year 
he was called to the State University as professor of Scan- 
dinavian languages and literatures. Carlson is a member 
of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 
as well as of the American Statistical Association. He 


was Republican presidential elector in 1892, has 
stumped the state for his party, is considered to be one of 
the best Swedish public speakers in the land, writes able 
editorial articles, and is a prominent member of the Swed- 
ish Lutheran church, having for years been one of the lead- 
ing lay-delegates at the annual meetings of said organiza- 
tion. In 1890 he w^as married to Maria M. Anderson, of 
Carver, Minn. They have four children. 

Christeusen, Ferdinand Sneedorff, vice-consul for Den- 
mark and banker — Rush City — bom 18 April, 1837, in 
Copenhagen, Denmark; died 1896. He received a college 
education in his native country, wrote some poems in his 
younger days, and participated in the Danish war with Ger- 
many in 1864. Christensen came to the U. S. in 1866, 
stopped in Chicago for two years, then moved to Rochester, 
Minn. Here he commenced the publication of Nordiak 
Folkeblad, -which was one of the first Danish-Norwegian 
ncAvspapers in Minnesota, and Christensen w^as the first 
Scandinavian in the state w^ho commenced to agitate the 
election of a Scandinavian state official, which resulted in 
the nomination and election of Col. Hans Mattson as 
secretary of state in 1869. Christensen became land agent 
for the St. Paul and Duluth Railroad company, and moved 
to Rush City in 1870. In 1882 he started the Bank of Rush 
City. He w^as assistant secretary of state from 1880-82, 
was appointed vice-consul for Denmark in 1883, represented 
his district in the state legislature in 1878, and held various 
local offices. Christensen, w^ho for years was the most 
prominent Dane in Minnesota, had, on his arrival in this 
country, to endure the usual hardships common to all immi- 


grants, and for some time he earned his bread by blacking 
stoves for a hardware store in Chicago. In 1869 he was 
married to Zelma A. Willard, who survives him. 

Clausen, Glaus LauFitz, clergyman and pioneer— Austin 
—bom 3 Nov., 1820, on the island of Aero, Fyen stift, Den- 
mark; died in Paulsbo, Wash., 1892. His father, who kept 
a country store, intended to let his son study law. And 
young Clausen at the age of fifteen, after he had received a 
good common school education and some instruction in the 
German language, commenced to study law in the office of 
one of the officials, where he remained for three years. But 
the legal principles soon tired Clausen ; and, being very reli- 
gious, he decided to become a missionary of the Gospel. For 
two years he studied theology under private instruction, 
but, being poor, he was compelled to seek employment as a 
tutor. In 1841 he visited Norway, and soon decided to go 
to Zululand, South Africa, to preach for the natives. But 
the reputation of his missionary zeal had been circulated to 
the Norwegian settlement at Muskego, Racine county, Wis. 
These people felt the need of a preacher and a teacher, espe- 
cially were they anxious to have their young children 
instructed in the religion and language of their fathers. 
They called Clausen. He accepted. And, after having 
returned to Denmark and married there, he, in company 
with his bride, arrived at Muskego, Wis., in 1843. Shortly 
after his arrival he w^as examined by a couple of German 
Lutheran ministers, was ordained Oct. 18, and organized 
what is generally supposed to be the first Scandinavian 
Lutheran church in America, since the Swedish settlement at 
Delaware River in the seventeenth century. This, however. 


is a mistake. For three or four years previously to Clausen's 
arrival, EUing Eielsen had built a log meeting house at Fox 
River, 111. This may be called the first Norwegian church 
building and church organization in the U. S., and Eielsen 
M^as ordained by a Lutheran minister fifteen days before 
Clausen. On the other hand it must be admitted that Eiel- 
sen -was not friendly towards any attempts to effect solid 
church organizations,'and seems to have ridiculed ordained 
clergymen both before and after his own ordination. He 
certainly had not the educational qualifications w^hich a 
Lutheran pastor is supposed to possess, and virtually 
remained during his -whole life an itinerant lay -preacher. In 
1844 Rev. J. W. C. Dietrichson arrived at Muskego from 
Norway ; he w^as a disciple of Bishop Grundtvig and suc- 
ceeded, at least for a while, in convincing Clausen to his 
views. But Dietrichson's Grundtvigianism terrified Eielsen 
and the friends of Hauge. In 1851 A. C. Preus, H. C. Stub, 
and C. L. Clausen met at Rock Prairie, Wis., — Dietrichson 
being in Europe at the time — and organized the Norwegian 
Synod. Clausen was elected president of the synod.. The 
constitution of this organization, which it w^as claimed con- 
tained too much leaven of Grundvigianism, w^as revoked 
the following year ; Clausen objected to the change and de- 
sired the leaven to remain. But in later years Clausen 
changed his views on this subject. When Emigranten, 
which was one of the first Norwegian newspapers in this 
country, w^as started in 1851, Clausen became its editor, 
remaining in that position, however, only a short time, as 
his ill-health compelled him to go farther West. For several 
years after his arrival to this country, his lungs had been in 


a bad condition. To restore his health he, in 1852, with- 
drew from the regular ministry, went to low^a, and located 
at St. Ansgar, Mitchell county, where soon a prosperous 
Norwegian settlement sprang up. For a number of years 
Clausen was engaged in farming and business ventures of 
various kinds, as well as in politics. Having regained his 
health and again entered the ministry, he, in June, 1861, 
attended the annual meeting of the Norwegian Synod, held 
at Rock Prairie, Wis., and upon application vs^as admitted 
to membership. At this 'meeting, a declaration from the 
ministers in regard to slavery having been called for, the 
following resolution, agreed to by all the ministers, Clausen 
included, was offered: " Although, according to the Word 
of God, it is not a sin per se to hold slaves ; yet slavery is 
per se an evil and a punishment from God, and we condemn 
all the abuses and sins connected with it, and, when our 
ministerial duties demand it, and when Christian love and 
wisdom require it, we will work for its abolition." This 
resolution on "slavery per se" (in itself) was afterwards 
supplemented by two other statements, both well known, 
to-wit: "No Christian can be a pro-slavery man," and 
" ' American slavery ', or slavery as constituted by American 
laws and customs, was per se sinful and abominable." 
Clausen, however, soon publicly withdrew his consent from 
the resolution of 1861, and declared that slavery is a sin 
per se, that is in every case and under all circumstances ; 
but, being the only one that did so, and dissenting on other 
important questions, he decided to leave the synod in 1868, 
asserting that the majority of its ministers were too narrow- 
minded. No other of the many Norwegian- American church 


disputes has been so thoroughly debated and generally mis- 
understood as has the slavery question. The Norwegian 
Synod has never to this day receded from the position it 
took in 1861 ; but the majority of the Norwegian lay -people, 
practically all of whom were strong sympathizers with the 
Northern cause, have always failed to comprehend the real 
attitude of the synod on this topic. Consequently Clausen 
had the popular side of the argument, as he denounced, 
principally, the evils of the American slavery, while the 
leaders of the synod maintained and tried to prove from the 
New Testament that the condition of servitude is not sinful 
per se. In regard to the attitude of Clausen and the Nor- 
wegian Synod on the slavery question a great deal can be 
learnt by reading Clausen's book, Gjenxnale, and Historisk 
Frexnstilling by the synod church council. The former 
■work, especially, is a master production. At the outbreak 
of the Civil War Clausen enlisted in the Fifteenth Wisconsin 
Regiment — better known as the Scandinavian Regiment — 
under the brave Col. H. C. Heg ; w^as appointed chaplain, 
but his poor health compelled him to resign in 1862. In 
1870 he became one of the organizers of the Norwegian- 
Danish Evangelical Lutheran Conference, and was its presi- 
dent for the first two years, then he resigned. In 1856—57 
he represented his district in the legislature of Iowa ; took a 
trip to Norway in 1867, being at the same time appointed 
by the governor of lo-wa as commissioner of the state to 
the exposition in Paris, France. After having resided in 
Iowa for nineteen years, he moved to Virginia, then to 
Philadelphia, where he preached for one year; accepted a 
call to Austin, Minn., 1878 ; spent the last few years of his 


eventful life with his son at Paulsbo, Wash., where he died. 
He is buried at Austin. Jensson, in American Lutheran 
Biographies, says of Clausen: "Since his arrival at 
Muskego, in 1843, Rev. Clausen's name is woven into the 
principal events of the history of the Norwegian Lutherans 
of this country, down to recent years. Zealously and faith- 
fully he administered to the spiritual wants of the pioneers, 
travelling continually between the small and scattering 
settlements throughout the Northwest." He was married 
to Martha F. Rasmussen, of Langeland, Denmark, in 1842, 
by whom he had one son. She died in 1846 ; since he married 
Mrs. Birgitte I. Pedersen. One of his sons is practicing law 
at Austin, and is one of the leading lay-members of the 
United Norwegian Church. 

Clausen, Peter, artist — Minneapolis — born 1830, in 
Denmark. 'At an early age he evinced marked artistic 
ability, and at the age of thirteen years was apprenticed'to 
a firesco painter and decorator, at the same time studying 
drawing at Ringsted. After serving his time he went to 
Copenhagen, studying two years at the Royal Art 
Academy, receiving a diploma for excellence in ornamenta- 
tion, model figure drawing, and oil painting. While decor- 
ating the Royal Palace in Stockholm, Sweden, he attended 
the Royal Academy of Arts in that city, receiving a diploma 
from the Antique school. He afterwards devoted several 
years to scene painting, finally coming to the United States 
in 1866. Shortly after his arrival here his services were 
secured to decorate the First Universalist Church in Minne- 
apolis, Minn., and many churches, public buildings, and 
private edifices in that city bear evidences of his skill. 


Every summer Clausen devotes a portion of his time to 
studying natural scenery. Among his studies from nature 
the most rerparkable is the picture of St. Anthony falls, 
including both sides of the island, painted in 1869. His 
large paintings of the Yellowstone Park and the Great 
Northwest have placed him high in the rank of scenic artists 
in this country. He is an active member of Dania Society, 
and of some secret organizations.' 

ColbGFg, A. P. J., journalist— St. Paul— born 19 Aug., 
1854, in Bitterna, Yestergotland, Sweden. At the age of 
sixteen he came -with a brother and a sister to this country; 
they settled in Carver county, Minn., where he for a w^hile 
worked as a common laborer, and later, after having entered 
college, taught and preached during vacations. Colberg 
attended Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, Minn., for 
two years, and studied at Augustana College, Rock Island, 
Ilk, for four years. In 1886 he became associate editor and 
business manager of what is now called Minnesota Stats 
Tidning-, the oldest Swedish newspaper in Minnesota, 
having been established in 1877; it has always been the 
organ of the Swedish Lutheran Conference of Minnesota, 
but is owned by private individuals ; since Colberg became 
manager its circulation has been doubled and is now about 
15,000. Colberg is a prominent member of the Swedish 
Lutheran church, and has held several important offices in 
the same. In 1886 he was married to Anna E. Nelson,, of 
Nicollet county, a daughter of Andrew Nelson, who is one 
of the wealthiest Swedish farmers in the country; they have 
several children. 

Darelius, August B., lavrjrer and legislator— Minneapolis 





— bom 3 July, 1859, in Skolvened, Yestergotland, Sweden. 
He came to the United States in 1873, "to acquire freedom 
of action, liberty of thought, and independence in life." At 
first he worked on farms, then clerked in stores, kept 
books, was interested in a grocery business for two years, 
graduated from the law department of the University of 
Michigan in 1889, and was elected to the state legislature 
of Minnesota in 1890. In the house of representatives he 
was the author of the bill which repealed the obnoxious 
struck' jury law, and secured the passage of the same. 
Darelius has resided in Minneapolis since 1876. He is a 
Democrat, and was nominated by his party for judge of 
probate in 1898, but was defeated with the rest of the 
ticket. He is one of the trustees and secretary of the 
Swedish hospital, and has a very large practice. In 1894 
he was married to Tillie Anderson of Minneapolis. 

Eg^gen, J. Mueller, clergyman and author — Lyle — ^born 
20 Apr., 1841, near Trondhjem, Norway. He clerked 
in Trondhjem for his uncle for some time, at the same 
time taking private instruction with the view of entering 
the University of Norway, where he, after having spent a 
couple of years in Tromso, attended lectures for two years. 
Afterwards he taught languages in Bergen for a short time, 
prepared himself for the stage, and appeared in a number 
of theatrical performances. He studied at a seminary for 
one year ; established a high school in Tryssil, of which he 
was principal for several years. In 1865 he accepted a call 
to take charge of a Norwegian high school in this coun- 
try, but after his arrival he changed his mind and entered 
the theological department of Augustana College, Paxton, 


111., graduating the following year. Eggen preached at 
Racine and vicinity, Wis., for about five years ; had charge 
of a congregation at Luther Valley, Wis., from 1871-82; 
and has ever since been pastor in Mower county, Minn. He 
belonged to the Scandinavian Augustana Synod, of which 
he was secretary for some time, until the Conference was 
organized in 1870, when he joined that body, which became 
part of the United Norwegian Lutheran Church in 1890. 
For nine years he w^as secretary of the Conference, served as 
vice-president for tvro years, and was elected president in 
1886, but on account of ill health declined to accept the 
position. He was one of the organizers of the United 
Church, and became its missionary secretary, a position he 
had also occupied in the Conference. Eggen has written 
considerably for the Norwegian-American press, as well as 
several books. He uses a flowery language, but there is not 
much depth to his literary productions. In 1858 he was 
married to Henrietta Rossow ; they have several children. 

Eng'Strom, Augustus Erieson, educator— Cannon Falls 
— born 22 March, 1851, in Vestergotland, Sweden. His 
ancestors on his father's side came from Germany to 
Sweden at the time of Gustavus Adolphus. At the age of 
eighteen young Engstrom emigrated to this country; 
worked his own way through Carleton College, Northfield, 
Minn., from which institution he graduated in 1878, and of 
which he has been one of the trustees since 1890. Ever 
since his graduation he has been principal of the high 
school at Cannon Falls; was elected superintendent of 
schools of Goodhue county in 1882, and has been re-elected 
ever since -without opposition; was elected president of the 


state association of county superintendents in 1889; was 
elected president of the Minnesota state teachers' reading 
circle in 1892, at the same time being appointed chairman 
of the state committee on common school exhibits at the 
World's Columbian Exposition. He ranks as one of the 
ablest school superintendent in the state. In 1880 Eng- 
strom was married to Mary A. Conley, of Burlington, 
Iowa; they have several children. 

Falstrom, Jacob, pioneer— Afton— bom 25 July, 1793 
or 1795, in Stockholm, Sweden; died 1859. His father is 
said to have been a wealthy merchant, but the young man 
left home at the age of twelve or fourteen years and sailed 
with his uncle. Of the six or seven different authorities 
which have been consulted in regard to Falstrom, there are 
not two that agree. Some maintain that he lost his way 
in London, England, and, being unable to find his uncle's 
ship, took passage for North America; others again assert 
that his uncle was cruel to him, and that he, on that 
account, ran away, intending to return to Sweden, but 
instead w^as landed in Canada, where he soon became 
acquainted with the Indians, whose habits and modes of 
life he adopted. He seems to have arrived in Minnesota, at 
least, before 1819, being employed by the American fur 
company to trade with the Indians around Lake Superior. 
He spoke French and several Indian languages, married an 
Indian woman, by whom he had several children, some of 
whom now live in Washington county, Minn., and in nearly 
every respect lived and acted as the aborigines. In later 
years he became very religious, and for a long time acted as 
a kind of Methodist missionary among the Indians. He 


took a claim in Washington county in 1837. Falstrom 
was unquestionably the first Scandinavian in Minnesota, 
but unlike his contemporary Northman, Borup, he exer- 
cised no influence upon the affairs of the state. The former 
simply degenerated into savagery, while the latter rose 
above his surroundings. 

Felland, Ole G., educator— Northfield— born 10 Oct., 
1853, in Koshkonong, Dane county, Wis. His parents came 
from Telemarken, Norway, in 1846, and settled on the farm 
vsrhere he was born. Young Felland graduated from Luther 
College in 1874, being one of the first who received the 
■ degree of B. A. of this institution. Afterwards he studied, 
for tw^o years, the classical and German languages at the 
Northwestern University, Watertown, Wis., and received 
the degree of A. M. of this institution in 1892; and becom- 
ing, interested in theology he commenced to study this 
branch of know^ledge at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Mo., 
completing his course there in 1879. Then he had charge of 
the Norwegian Lutheran churches at Kasson and Rochester, 
Minn., for a couple of years, and became a teacher in St. 
Olaf College in 1881. Felland has taught English, Norwe- 
gian, German, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, history, and botany. 
At the time of the controversy on predestination, in 1880, 
he sided with the Anti-Missourians and joined the United 
Church in 1890. In 1888 Felland visited England, France, 
Germany, Denmark, and Norway. He was married in 1883 
to Thea Johanna Midboe, of Vernon, Minn. ; they have several 

Fjelde, Jacob, sculptor— Minneapolis — born 10 April, 
1859, in Aalesund, Norway; died 1896. One of his ancestors 


married, in 1750, a daughter of a French Huguenot family; 
his father was a wood carver, and Fjelde worked at this 
trade until he was eighteen years of age. He studied sculp- 
ture with Bergslien, in Kristiania, for about a year and a 
half; studied nearly three years at the Royal Academy, 
Copenhagen, Denmark, and spent two years in Rome, study- 
ing the classical masterpieces. Before emigrating to this 
country in 1887, he produced The Boj- and the Cats, 
Spring, and other figures, besides a bust of Henrik Ibsen, 
etc. — all of which received favorable comments of the 
Scandinavian and the Roman press, and of art critics. Most 
of his early productions are preserved in the museums of 
Bergen and Kristiania. Fjelde, during his residence in 
Minneapolis, made busts, both in marble and in bronze, of 
some of the best known Scandinavians and Americans in the 
country, and such works as his statues. The Seading 
Woman, in the Minneapolis Public Library, and the 
Gettysburg Monument — both in bronze — have gained a 
national reputation. Fjelde's works have received high 
commendation of the critics and of the public, and the 
Ole Bull statue, in the main park of Minneapolis, is un- 
doubtedly his greatest work. In 1888 he was married to 
Margarita Madsen, of Copenhagen, Denmark. 

Fliesburg, Osear Alf. , physician and poet — Minne- 
apolis — born 5 April, 1851, in SmMand, Sweden. His grand- 
father was a German who settled in Sweden in the eighteenth 
century; his father was an officer in the Swedish navy. 
Fliesburg studied a few years at a college in Kalmar; gradu- 
ated as a pharmacist in 1869; followed his profession for a 
few years in Stockholm, Gothenburg, and other places in 


Sweden; visited most of the European countries, as well as 
parts of Africa and South America; arrived in the United 
States in 1874; has clerked in drug stores in New York, 
Baltimore, Chicago, St. Louis, and in different places in 
Minnesota, besides having traveled through nearly every 
state in the Union. Fliesburg studied medicine at spare 
times for several years, passed his medical examination be- 
fore the Minnesota state medical board in 1883, and gradu- 
ated from the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Chicago, 
in 1885; practiced his profession in Hudson, Wis., for three 
years, then resided in St. Paul for several years, and settled 
in Minneapolis in 1894. Here he took an active part in the 
establishment of the Swedish hospital in 1898, and has built 
up a large practice. Fliesburg devotes part of his time to 
literary pursuits, having published several poems in 
Svenska Folkets Tidning, Valkjrrian, and Srea, etc., 
besides w^riting on medical questions for American journals. 
In 1893 he, in connection with Lewis P. Johnson, published 
in the English language Cristoforo Colon, a lengthy epic 
poem dealing with the discovery of America by Columbus; 
and in 1899 he issued Vildrosor ocb Tistlar, alarge volume 
of over 300 pages, which is a collection of the author's 
poems, much of which had previously appeared in some 
Sw^edish newspapers. If the critics are to be relied upon, 
Fliesburg is a poetical genius, whose fault in poesy is said, 
by some of his critics, to consist in ignoring strict poetical 
rules and not adhering strictly to the severe grammatical 
construction of the Swedish language, permitting himself 
more freedom than is usually allowed. Consequently, his 
productions have been highly praised and severely criticised. 


It is generally admitted, however, that his conceptions are 
sublime, perhaps too much so to be properly understood. 
In 1879 he was married to MinaBirgittaOpsahl, of Chicago; 
she died in 1880, and in 1889 he w^as married to Brita 
Sundkvist, of St. Paul. 

Fosmark, 0- N., clergyman — Fergus Falls — born 17 
Nov., 1853, in Columbia county. Wis. His parents came 
from Norway to the United States in 1845. He graduated 
from Luther College in 1875, and completed his theological 
studies at Concordia Seminary three years later; and has 
ever since been pastor of a church belonging to the Nor- 
w^egian Synod in Furgus Falls, and is also president of 
Park Region Luther College. In 1879 Fosmark was mar- 
ried to Sarah Norman, of Otter Tail county, Minn. They 
have several children. 

Fosnes, C. A., lawyer and legislator — Montevideo — 
born 2 July, 1862, in Gloppen, Bergen stift, Norway. At 
the age of four he came with his parents to this country; 
they settled in Winona county, Minn., but moved to Fari- 
bault county two years later. Fosnes received a common 
school education, attended the state normal school at 
Winona for two years, and studied law in a private office 
in Winona. Since 1884- he has practiced his profession in 
Montevideo, and was the Prohibition candidate for Con- 
gress in 1888. He has been a member of the school board 
in his district, and city attorney and mayor. In 1897 and 
1899 he served in the state legislature, having been elected 
on the Fusion ticket, although he is independent in 
politics. Fosnes made an excellent record as a legislator, 
and was especially successful in defeating several pernicious 


bills. If his party had been in the majority instead of in 
the minority some of the highly deserving measures which 
he tried to pass would undoubtedly have been enacted. He 
is a Freemason and a member of the I. 0. 0. P., and was 
married to Sarah Ameson, of Montevideo, in 1883. They 
have children. 

Foss, H. A., journalist and author — Minneapolis — bom 
25 Nov., 1851, in Modum, Norway. He enjoyed a common 
school and commercial education; came to America in 1877; 
w^orked on farms in MinneSota and wrote some for Nor- 
wegian newspapers; settled at Portland, N. D., where he 
was postmaster in 1885-87; published and edited Norznan- 
den. at Grand Porks, N. D., in 1887-92; removed to Min- 
neapolis in 1893; and has since spent his time in editing 
a weekly, A'^-e Normanden, owned partly by himself. Poss 
viras a Prohibitionist iu the eighties and took active part 
in the anti-saloon campaign in North Dakota; but for the 
past ten years he has been a radical Populist, his campaign 
editorials being choice samples of the so-called "calamity 
howling" of the reform press of the early nineties. In 1892 
he was candidate for congress on the People's party ticket 
in North Dakota. Poss has written several books, some of 
w^hich are very popular, and five of them have been re-pub- 
lished in Norway. He was married to Inga 0. Pjeld in 
1886; they have several children. 

Foss, Louis 0., legislator— Wendell— bom 1854, in 
Portage, Wis. His parents were Norwegians, and he re- 
ceived a common school education at Portage; removed 
to Minnesota in 1879; has been engaged in farming since 
that date in Grant county; was justice of the peace for 





















■ ^ 


l^.'^^ ^ 



11^ •*_ 



twelve years, town clerk for ten years, and judge of probate 
for eight years; has been a member of the lower branch of 
the legislature since 1894, being elected on the Republican 
ticket. In th« legislature of 1899 he was looked upon as 
one of the most combative members of his house. He is 
the head of a family. 

Fremling, John, clergyman— Vasa— born 21 June, 1842, 
in Frammestad, Vestergotland, Sweden. After having 
received a high school education in Skara, Fremling for two 
years attended the Lyceum in Upsala, and had decided to 
become a minister of the Gospel in his native country ; but 
in 1870 Prof. Hasselquist, who had just returned to Sweden 
for the purpose of securing young men to enter the Swedish- 
American ministry, induced him to emigrate to the United 
States. Before he was ordained, however, he studied one 
year at Augustana College, Paxton, 111. From 1871-82 
Fremling had charge of the Swedish Lutheran church in 
Sabylund, Wis.; was pastor in Welch, Minn., for five years, 
and at Fish Lake for two ; and came to Vasa in 1889. He 
was president of the Minnesota Conference in 1883-87 and 
has held the same position since 1897. When Fremling 
was thirty years of age he was married to Emelia A. 
Edholm, a sister of A. E. Edholm, of Stillwater. They have 
one child. 

Frieh, Johannes Bjereh, educator and clergyman — 
Hamline — ^born 15 July, 1835, in Nannestad, Romerike, Nor- 
way. He is the son of G. J. Frich, pastor in the state church 
of Norway. After having finished his Latin school course 
at Kristiania, he entered the University of Norway and was 
graduated as theol. cand. in 1861. The following year Frich 


was ordained minister, and in the summer of the same year 
emigrated to America to take charge of twelve congrega- 
tions belonging to the Norwegian Synod, and located in La 
Crosse, Trempealeau, and Jackson counties in Wisconsin; 
served as minister for twenty-six years; was for a number of 
years secretary of the synod ; became president of the East- 
em District in 1876, w^hich position he held till 1888. He 
w^as then called as professor of theology at Luther Seminary, 
of which institution he is now president. In 1894-9 he was 
vice-president of the Norwegian Synod. Frich was married 
to Caroline Nilsen in 1862. They have several children. 

Gausta, Hertojorn N., artist— MinneapoHs— bom 1854, 
in Telemarken, Norw^ay. He came w^ith his parents to 
the U. S. in 1867 ; attended Luther College for three years; 
then went to Europe, and for seven years studied painting 
in Kristiania, Nor^vay, and Munich, Germany ; returned to 
America in 1882; lived in Chicago, Madison, La Crosse, and 
Decorah, until 1887, when he w^ent to Italy, Germany, and 
his native country. Gausta has resided in MinneapoHs since 
1889 and has made portrait paintings of some of the best 
known people in the United States. Prof Breda said of him: 
^'He does not know how to advertise or put himself for- 
ward; but he is one of the best Scandinavian artists in this 
country; his landscapes are beautiful, original, and natural." 
The Literary Northwest for January, 1893, in speaking 
about Minneapolis artists, refers to Gausta as follows: "He 
is an admirable figure painter and also strong in land- 

Gjertsen, Henry J., lawyer— Minneapolis— born 8 Oct., 
1861, near Tromso, Norway. Gjertsen came to this country 


when six years of age, living witli his parents on their farm 
at Lake Ameha, Minn., and attending the common school 
during the winter months until he was fifteen. When seven- 
teen he requested his parents to permit him to go to college, 
and his father finally consented to let him go to the Red 
Wing Seminary, where he completed the six years' course in 
the collegiate department. In the last year of his college 
course he determined to enter the legal profession, and 
already began the study of law privately before leaving the 
seminary. He continued the study of law and was admitted 
to the bar at the age of twenty -three. While studying law 
Gjertsen was employed in a number of small cases, one of 
which as a test case was appealed by his opponent to the 
supreme court, Gjertsen thus receiving the distinction of 
being acknowledged attorney of record in the supreme court 
before he was admitted to the bar. Since his admission to 
practice Gjertsen has conducted a general law business in 
Minneapolis, where he has built up a wide-spread and 
lucrative practice, having also successively conducted a 
number of important cases before the higher courts. He 
has, within the last few years, with ability conducted cases 
against railroad companies and other corporations before 
the United States courts. He has also been admitted to 
practice before the United States Supreme Court at Wash- 
ington. He has several times been a delegate to state 
conventions, served as a member of different Republican 
county committees, and was appointed a member of the 
charter commission of Minneapolis in 1897. For many 
years he has edited the legal departments of Skandinaren, 
Minneapolis Daglig Tidende, and Srenska Azneri- 


kanaka Pesten. In 1897 lie published a hand book of 
American law in Norwegian and Swedish, which received 
much praise by the press and the critics. In 1899 Gov. 
Lind appointed him inspector general of the state militia, 
with the rank of brigadier general. At the age of twenty- 
one Gjertsen was married to Gretchen Goebel, a German 
lady. They have one child. 

Gjertsen, Melehior Falk, clergyman — Minneapolis— bom 
19 Feb., 1847, in Amle, Bergen stift, Norway. Gjertsen 
had passed several classes in the Latin school at Bergen 
when he emigrated with his parents to America in 1864. 
Shortly after their arrival the family came w^est, and young 
Gjertsen found employment in Milwaukee. It was his desire 
to enter the commercial life, but a severe illness made him 
change his plans, and, according to his father's wishes, he 
began to study for the ministry. He entered the Augustana 
College and Seminary at Paxton, 111., from which institu- 
tion he graduated in 1868. The same year Gjertsen was 
ordained minister of the Gospel and took charge of the con- 
gregation at Leland, 111., w^here he remained for four years. 
He then moved to Stoughton, Wis., w^here he was pastor for 
nine years. He has since resided in Minneapolis, where he is 
minister of a church now belonging to the Norwegian Free 
Church. In 1870 Gjertsen was a delegate to the meeting 
which organized the Norwegian-Danish Conference, to 
w^hich organization he belonged till the estabUshment of the 
United Church, and in 1873 he vras sent as a delegate to the 
general meeting of the Norwegian missionary society held 
in Drammen, Norway. He published a volume of songs 
called Hjezalandssange. Gjertsen is a very active worker 


in the field of education, of temperance, of charity, etc. He 
was one of the organizers of the Associated Charities of 
MinneapoKs, as well as of the first stable temperance 
society among the Norwegians in Minneapolis, the Norwe- 
gian Y. M. C. A., and deaconess' home. In 1889 he w^as 
elected member of the Minneapolis board of education, of 
which body he was secretary and president. Gjertsen did 
some excellent work while serving on the board. In 1869 
he was married to Sarah Mosey; they have several 

Grinager, Mons, soldier— Minneapolis— bom 7 Oct., 
1832, in Hadeland, Harmar stift, Norway; died 1889. His 
father was a well-to-do farmer, who gave his son a fair 
education. At the age of twenty-one he came to this coun- 
try, directly to St. Paul, but moved to Decorah the follow- 
ing year, where he was in the mercantile business for three 
years. In 1857 he took a claim in Freeborn county, Minn., 
and at the outbreak of the Civil War enlisted in the 
Fifteenth Wisconsin Regiment, better known as the Scandi- 
navian Regiment, in which he became captain. At the 
battle of Stone River he was severely wounded and had to 
retire from the army for a while. After the close of the war 
he returned to his farm; held various local offices; was 
revenue assessor for some time of the first district of Minne- 
sota, which included twenty-nine counties; 'was register of 
the U. S. land office in Worthington from 1874-82; settled in 
Minneapolis in 1886, where he was vice-president of Scandia 
Bank; owned also several farms in Freeborn county, and 
had commercial relations in Dakota. Grinager was the 
Republican nominee for state treasurer in 1873, defeated; 


■was one of the presidential electors in 1888, and served as 
vice-president for Minnesota of the Republican national 
league for a few years. His son Alex Grinager is quite a 
noted artist. 

Grindeland, Andrew, lawyer and state senator— War- 
ren — ^born 20 Nov., 1856, in Winnesheik county, Iowa. His 
parents were from Voss, Norway. He received an academic 
education in Decorah, Iowa; taught in the public schools of 
Iowa and in Dodge county, Minn., for a while; graduated 
from the law^ department of the University of low^a in 
1882, and has ever since practiced his profession in Warren. 
Here he has been a member of the city, council, judge of the 
probate court, chairman of the school board, and has held 
various other offices; was one of the founders of the Grand 
Forks College; assisted in organizing the State Bank of 
Warren, of v(rhich he is one of the directors. Grindeland has 
taken an active part in every political campaign ever since 
Knute Nelson ran for Congress; he is a Republican and a 
member of the Norwegian Synod. For four years he was a 
member of the State Normal school board, and was elected 
to the state senate in 1898, being one of the most active 
men of the session in 1899. In 1882 he was married to 
Ingrid Frode, of Winnesheik county, Io"wa; they have sev- 
eral children. 

Gponberger, Robert, humorist and writer— Forest Lake 
— bom 2 Oct., 1840, in Kalmar, Sweden. He received a col- 
lege education in his native city. In 1869 he emigrated to 
the U. S.; lived in Wisconsin for three years; then moved to 
St. Paul, and remained there until 1877, when he settled at 
Forest Lake. Gronberger is a Democrat and has been asses- 


sor of the town for twenty years. He is not married, and 
seems to stick to his bachelorship with a certain degree of 
stubbornness; no wonder he claims to have had "plenty of 
adversities, but of successes, none, so far." It is not, how- 
ever, as a politician or as an unsuccessful lover that Gron- 
berger has become noted, but as a humorous writer. Every- 
one who knows anything about the Swedish-American 
literature, knows also iVfFBei/— that is Gronberger. For 
under this nom de plume he has for many years contributed 
a large number of correspondences and humorous sketches 
to Minnesota Stats Tidning, Sv^enska Amerikanaren, 
Svenska Folkets Tidning; and other Swedish papers. "Be- 
sides, he is the author of three Swedish books, Svenskarne 
i St. Croixdalen, Minn., and Minnesotas Historia and 
Kalle Frojdelin — the latter is a novel, written in a natural 
and agreeable vein of humor. Gronberger has devoted much 
time to the study of Swedish-American history. Sj^ens- 
karne i St. Croixdalen, Minnesota, is the best and most 
correct history of the Swedes in that part of the country 
that has yet been published. In it he describes the first Swe- 
dish settlement in Minnesota with more exactness than any 
other author. 

Guttersen, G„ legislator — Lake Crystal — born 13 May, 
1859, in Grover, Winona county, Minn. His father came 
from Telemarken; his mother from Stavanger, Norway. 
Guttersen received a common school education, and com- 
pleted a course at the Mankato normal school in 1884. He 
taught school about four years; was engaged in farming 
until 1895; and after that date was manager of a corpora- 
tion, running a store and creamery at Butternut. Guttersen 


has held a number of minor positions of trust in his locahty, 
including that of postmaster. In 1889 he was elected 
engrossing clerk of the house of representatives of the state 
legislature, and in 1892 and 1894 was elected to a seat in 
the same body. In 1896 he declined the nomination for the 
same .position, but was again elected in 1898, receiving a 
phenomenally large majority and being the only man in his 
county who served three terms in the state legislature. 
Guttersen is a Republican and a member of the United 
Church. He was married to Alma Pettersen, of Butternut, 
in 1889; they have children. 

" Halgren, C. G., state legislator — Watertown — bom 
1840, in Ulricehamn, Vestergotland, Sweden. He received a 
common school education in his native country; emigrated 
to the United States at the age of fourteen; settled with his 
parents at Fulton, 111., where he served a four years' appren- 
ticeship at the printer's trade; and came to Carver county, 
Minn., in 1858. At the outbreak of the Civil War he enlisted 
as a private in company B of Ninth Minnesota Volunteer 
Infantry, and served until the close of the war; was post- 
master from 1877-85 in Watertown, w^here he also has a 
drug store; was elected to the lower branch of the state 
legislature in 1880, 1882, and 1888. Halgren is a Repub- 
lican, is married, and has a son practicing medicine at 

HalvorsoD, John, clergyman — Minneapolis — born 4 Dec, 
1861, in Stavanger, Norway. He came with his parents to 
the United States at the age of nine; graduated from Luther 
College at the age of nineteen; studied one year at the Ger- 
man Northwestern University, Watertown, Wis., and gra- 







duated trom this institution in 1881; then studied theology 
both at Concordia Seminary and Luther Seminary, and was 
ordained in 1884. He served as assistant pastor at May- 
ville, N. D., for a couple of years; then had charge ^of the 
church at Norway Lake, Minn., for four years, and accepted 
the call of the Zion Church, Minneapolis, in 1890. Halvor- 
son belongs to the Norwegian Synod, but is an ardent 
advocate of the use of the English language, and believes in 
the future of the Lutheran church in this country only when 
it retains our fathers' faith and uses our children's language. 
He was English lecturer at Luther Seminary from 1890 to 
1894. During his missionary work, both in Dakota and at 
Norway Lake, he quite frequently preached in English, being 
also a contributor to several English theological periodicals, 
as well as Norwegian. In 1889 he was married to Bertha 
Glesne, of Norway Lake, who was the first child of Euro- 
pean parents bom in the settlement. They have several 

Halvorson, Kittel, congressman — Belgrade — born 15 Dec. , 
1846, in Hjertdal, Telemarken, Norway. He came with his 
parents to the U. S. when he was an infant of only two 
years of age; they settled in Wisconsin, where young Halvor- 
son attended the common schools. At the outbreak of the 
Civil War he enlisted in company C, First Wisconsin Heavy 
Artillery, and served until the close of the war; then settled 
on a homestead in Stearns county, Minn., where he has been 
engaged in farming, stock raising, and dealing in agricultural 
implements. Halvorson was elected to the United States 
Congress in 1890 by the Farmers' Alliance and the Prohi- 
bitionists, but was by no means successful as a lawmaker. 


He frankly acknowledged his incapacity by the following 
utterance just before election: "I do not think I am the 
proper man to send to Congress; but if you elect me anyway, 
I assure you that I shall do my best." He is a Lutheran, 
takes interest in the temperance movement, has a family, 
and represented his district in the state legislature in 1887. 

Hanson, Oesten, clergyman — Aspelund — bom 8 July, 
1836, in Norway; died 4 Aug. 1898. At the age of fifteen he 
emigrated with his parents to this country; they settled in 
Wisconsin, but moved to Goodhue county, Minn., in 1856. 
Here young Hanson was ordained in 1861, and served the 
same congregation until his death. In 1875-6 he was 
president of Hauge's Synod, was its vice-president for about 
twenty years, was president of the board of regents of Red 
Wing Seminary for several years, and was again elected 
president of the synod in 1887. His son, M. G. Hanson, 
was born 11 July, 1853; graduated from Red Wing Seminary 
in 1884; had charge of congregations in St. Paul for eight 
years; was located at Grand Forks, N. D., for six years; 
became principal of Red Wing Seminary in 1898; and was 
elected president of Hauge's Synod the same year, and re- 
elected in 1899. He is married and has children. 

Hilleboe, H. S., educator— Benson— bom 28 Oct., 1858, 
in Roche-a-Cree, Adams county. Wis. His father and grand 
parents came from Norway to the United States in 1853. 
Young Hilleboe w^orked on the farm and attended the dis- 
trict school till the age of sixteen; then taught some in the 
public schools. In the fall of 1875 he entered Luther Col- 
lege, from which he was graduated in 1881. In 1886 he 
received the degree of master of arts from that institution. 


During his college days and after his graduation he taught 
in the public schools and occasionally in the parochial 
schools. In 1884 he began to teach in Willmar Seminary, 
and during the years 1886—99 he was eminently successful 
as principal of that institution. At the latter date he was 
appointed superintendent of the public schools of Benson. 
Hilleboe is one of the most aggressive Prohibitionists in the 
state, and was nominated for governor by his party in 1894. 
He was married in 1887 to Antonilla Thykesen, of Calmar, 

Hobe, E, H., Swedish-Norwegian vice-consul — St. Paul — 
bom 27 Feb., 1860, in Risor, Norway. While yet a boy, 
Hobe took up his residence with his uncle at Tvedestrand, 
where he received a good school training, and having com- 
pleted his studies here he was employed in a ship brokerage 
house in the city of Arendal. Already in his early years 
Hobe gave evidence of a marked business ability, so that at 
the age of seventeen he was employed as head clerk in one 
of the large wholesale and retail establishments in that city. 
In 1879 he went to Copenhagen, Denmark, where he studied 
for some time at the noted Gruner's business college, and 
upon his return to Norway became bookkeeper for a large 
w^holesale house in Kristiania. Having finished the required 
military duties, Hobe emigrated to America in 1883, coming 
directly to St. Paul, Minn., where he began his career as 
clerk in the business department of the paper Nordv^esten. 
His ability, however, was soon noticed, and after a short 
time Hobe became associate editor. In this capacity he 
served for about two years, when he opened up business as 
dealer and broker in real estate. In 1887 Hobe made a trip 


to Europe, visiting, among other places, Copenhagen, Den- 
mark, where he was married to Johanna Mueller. Upon his 
return to America, Sahlgaard, then Swedish-Norwegian vice- 
consul in St. Paul, and the owner of an extensive business, 
invited Hobe to become his partner. Hobe accepted, and 
shortly before Sahlgaard's death bought out the latter's in- 
terest in the business. Under his management it has since 
grow^n to be one of the largest land dealing firms in St. Paul. 
In 1893 Hobe was appointed Sahlgaard's successor as 
Swedish-Norwegian vice-consul, in w^hich capacity he has 
done some excellent work, and ranks today as one of the 
leading Scandinavian business men in the Northw^est. 

Hoegh, Knut, physician and surgeon — Minneapolis — 
bom 15 April, 1844, in Kaafjord, Tromso sift, Norway. 
After being graduated from the Latin school of Trondhjem, 
Hoegh entered the University of Norway, and graduated 
from the medical department in 1869. Shortly after his 
graduation he ehiigrated to America, coming to La Crosse, 
Wis., where he followed his profession till 1889, when he 
moved to Minneapolis. While in La Crosse Hoegh built, in 
1871, a private hospital to facilitate the treatment of the 
many patients from far and near who sought his profes- 
sional aid. In 1880 he went to New York City to pursue 
some special studies in his profession, and in 1887 he went 
to England and Germany, where he made a special study of 
surgery. Hoegh has been a member of many medical asso- 
ciations, and of the Minnesota board of health, being 
appointed to the latter position by Gov. Nelson. He was 
also a member of the health commission of the state of Wis- 
consin, and a member of the board of inspectors of the 


insane asylum of the same state. Hoegh "was married in 
1870 to Anna Dorthea Moen; they have children. 

Holt, Andrew, lawyer— Minneapolis— bom 20 May,1855, 
in East Union, Carver county, Minn. His parents -were 
among the early Swedish settlers; they came to this country 
in 1853. He received a Swedish education at Gustavus 
Adolphus College; graduated from the University of Minne- 
sota in 1880, being the first Scandinavian who completed a 
course at this institution. He studied law in Glencoe, and 
commenced to practice in Minneapolis in 1882, being shortly 
after admitted as a member of the firm Ueland & Holt. He 
is one of the organizers of St. John's English Lutheran 
Church; is an advocate of temperance, but affiliates with the 
Republican party. In the summer of 1894 Knute Nelson 
appointed him judge of the municipal court of Minneapolis, 
and in the fall of that year he was elected to the same posi- 
tion. In 1885 Holt was married to Hilda C. Turnquist, and 
they have children. 

Husher, Ferdinand A., journalist and state legislator — 
Minneapolis — ^born 16 June, 1825, in Yiborg, Denmark; died 
1895. His father was for a number of years collector of 
customs, and afterwards an actor. While very young 
Husher removed to Norway, entering the university there, 
and graduating in 1845. From 1851-64 he held various 
positions, and for the five years following was assistant 
pastor at Nissedal,but emigrated to America in 1869, going 
to La Crosse, Wis., where he became assistant editor of 
Fa.edrela.ndet og EtnigTSinten. From 1873-75 Husher 
became editor and part owner of Budstikken, Minne- 
apolis; was register of the U. S. land office at La Crosse 


from 1878-83; became managing editor, and later also pro- 
prietor of the first-named paper, with w^hich he removed to 
Minneapolis in 1886. In 1888 Husher was elected member 
of the state legislature of Minnesota, but resigned when, in 
1890, he w^as appointed U. S. consul at St. Thomas, 
Ontario, Canada. From 1879-84 Husher was a member of 
the Republican state central committee in Wisconsin, and in 
1884 was presidential elector at large for the same state. 
After his return from Canada, in 1894, he went to Grand 
Forks, N. D., to assume editorial charge oi Normatiden. 

Jackson, Andrew, clergyman— Rush Point— born 11 
Feb., 1828, in Valla, Bohus Ian, Sweden. He studied in a 
college for six or seven years, and taught in private families; 
became a sailor; emigrated to this country in 1852; worked 
in saw mills on Hudson River for five years; and took a 
claim in Kandiyohi county, Minn., in 1858. After having 
studied in Chicago for a couple of years he was ordained in 
1861, and took charge of Swedish Lutheran congregations 
in Kandiyohi county until 1862, when he together with the 
settlers w^as driven aw^ay from their homes by the Indians. 
Jackson taught the first public school in Meeker county, 
and when a Swedish school, which later became Gustavus 
Adolphus College, was opened at Carver in 1863, be became 
principal of that institution, a position he retained until the 
school was moved to St. Peter in 1876. For twenty-five 
years he had charge of churches in Carver county, moved to 
St. Paul in 1890, and has since been pastor at Rush Point. 
Jackson was married in 1863, his wife died in 1875, and in 
1877 he was married the second time. His son J. A. Jackson 
was bom 17 July, 1868, in Carver county, Minn.; graduated 


fron Gustavus Adolplius College in 1891 and from the law 
department of the state university in 1893; and since the 
latter date has been practicing law in St. Paul, having for 
years been the only Swedish attorney in that city. In 1898 
Jackson was elected to the state legislature, and worked 
hard and faithfully, especially as chairman ol the committee 
on public buildings, and as a result of his labor the new 
capitol will, undoubtedly, be completed in 1903 instead of in 
1910. He is a member of the Swedish Lutheran church and 
a Republican. 

Jacobson, Jacob F., state legislator— Madison— born 13 
Jan., 1849, in Hjelmfland, Kristiansand stift, Norway. At 
the age of seven he came with his parents to this country; 
they settled in Fayette county, Iowa, where young Jacob- 
son worked on his father's farm until 1871, when he moved 
to Lac qui Parle county, Minn., and commenced to deal in 
agricultural implements, and he claimed in 1892 to do an 
annual business of $75,000. But he failed a couple of years 
later, and it is said that he settled up his troubles in a sort 
of a private way; some of his creditors receiving ten cents 
on the dollar, and others about fifty cents on the dollar. 
From 1873-79 he was county auditor, has served in the 
lower branch of the state legislature since 1889, -was a dele- 
gate to the Republican national convention at Minneapolis 
in 1892, and has held several local offices. He is a member 
of Hauge's Synod, and takes a very active part in the social, 
financial, and political affairs of the community and of the 
state, being an ardent temperance advocate and a Republi- 
can, who often addresses public meetings in the interest of 
his party. But his oratorical qualifications consist mostly 


in his strong lungs. Botli in his conversation and in his 
speeches he yells to the top of his voice. He seldom knows 
when silence would be w^isdom. These peculiarities of 
Jacobson have had a great deal to do with his success in 
public life, for it has been asserted that many people in Lac 
qui Parle county vote for him simply because he is such a 
good advertisement for the county, being alw^ays, of course, 
referred to in the legislature as "the gentleman from Lac 
qui Parle." Such mention of a new community has a tend- 
ency to raise the value of real estate. Yet he must be a man 
of ability, since he has been the recognized leader in the leg- 
islature for some years. Many of the measures he has 
advocated have been wise, and his tactics are shrewd. 
The St. Paul Dispatch cartooned him in 1899 as "the 
red dragon of Lac qui Parle;" and it cannot be denied that 
on account of his rudeness and brutal treatment of other 
people's opinions and honesty, he is "feared rather than 
trusted." Jacobson was married in 1873, and his wife died 
in 1879; married again in 1883, and became a widower four 
years later; married the third time in 1889. He has had 
children by all his wives. 

Jaeger, Luth, journalist — Minneapolis — bom 4 Aug., 
1851, near Arendal, Norway. He received a classical educa- 
tion; was admitted to the University of Norway in 1870, 
but after having studied for one year at that institution, he 
emigrated to this country at the age of twenty; clerked in 
Madison and La Crosse, Wis., from 1871-76; was connected 
^th a Norwegian weekly paper, Norden, in Chicago, one 
year; became editor of Badstikken, Minneapolis, Minn., in 
1879, a position which he held for about eight years; and 




the next four years he was deputy collector of internal 
revenue. Jaeger was in the real estate business in Minne- 
apolis for a short time and lived in New Mexico during part 
of one year. In 1886 the Democratic party nominated him 
for secretary of state, but with the rest of the ticket he was 
defeated. In 1890 he was elected a member of the board of 
education, in which work he took great interest and rend- 
ered valuable services. He was one of the founders of The 
North in 1889, remaining in editorial charge of the paper 
until its discontinuance in 1894. The North was a weekly 
journal published in the English language and devoted to 
the interests of the Scandinavians as citizens of the United 
States. As such it became the repository for much valuable 
information, w^hile ably and forcibly preaching the need of a 
more rigid and intense Americanization of the foreign-born 
than the latter themselves usually think desirable. Jaeger 
is a clear and forcible writer, uninfluenced by any political, 
religious, or national prejudices. He unquestionably ranks 
among the very best Scandinavian- American writers. His 
opinions on the leading questions of the day, as published in 
The North, were extensively quoted by the Scandinavian- 
American press. By the native Americans' and foreign- 
Americans, not Scandinavians, The North was considered 
the representative organ of Scandinavian-American opin- 
ions. To the leading journalists in Stockholm, Copenhagen, 
and Kristiania, Jaeger's name is very famiUar. He was for 
several years an officer in the Security Savings and Loan 
Association, his connection with this now defunct corpora- 
tion being severed under circumstances alike creditable to 
him as an official and man. In 1897 Jaeger was appointed 


receiver of tlie Scandia Bank of Minneapolis and is also 
engaged in the real estate, loaning, and insurance business. 
In 1883 he was married to Nanny Mattson, only daughter 
of the Avell-knowTi Col. Hans Mattson, a lady who takes 
great interest in educational affairs and charitable institu- 
tions. They have three boys. 

Janson, Kristofer N., clergyman and author — Minne- 
apolis — ^bom 5 May, 1841, in Bergen, Norway. His father 
w^as a business man and American consul at Bergen; his 
mother was a daughter of Bishop Neumann, who w^as 
bishop of Bergen stift. After having completed the course 
at the Latin school of his native city, Janson entered the 
University of Norway, and graduated from this institution, 
■with the highest honor, as a theological candidate. During 
his university career, as virell as afterwards, he -was the 
leader of a movement, having in view the re-placing of the 
Danish-Norwegian language and literature which was 
forced upon the Norwegian people at their connection with 
Denmark in the fourteenth century. He devoted himself to 
private teaching, and w^as one of the promoters in founding 
people's high schools in Gudbrandsdalen and other places, 
for the purpose of raising the intellectual level of the peas- 
ants. He wrote extensively, both poetry and novels, and it 
is generally considered that he produced his best literary 
w^orks during his younger days. In 1882 he accepted a 
call to become minister of a liberal society in Minneapolis, 
and organized Unitarian churches among his countrymen 
in Minneapolis, in Brown and Otter Tail counties, Minne- 
sota, and at Hudson, Wis. Janson took active part in all 
movements in the nature of social reforms and intellectual 


improTements. After his emigration to this country he 
returned to Europe and visited Italy, Prance, Germany, 
Holland, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, and the Scandinavian 
countries. It is generally acknowledged that Han og Ho 
and Den Bergtekne art the best of his numerous literary 
productions. The latter has been translated into English 
under the title The Spellbound Fiddler. His experiences 
as a minister in the Northwest have been described in 
Piaeriens Saga. In 1868 Janson was married to Drude 
Krog, a daughter of a Lutheran minister; they had seven 
children, and two of their sons are practicing physicians. 
Mrs. Janson not only assisted her husband in his literary 
endeavors, but also produced original literary works of her 
own, for example: En Saloon-Keepers Datter, etc. With 
all his brilliancy, however, Janson did not seem to be well- 
balanced. He became a Spiritualist, returned to Noway in 
1894, was divorced, and married a medium. 

Jensson, Jens Christian, clergyman and author — Aus- 
tin — bom 25 March, 1859, in Sandnes, Kristiansand stift, 
Norway. He came to America in 1862 with his parents, 
who first settled in Neenah, Wis. Later they moved to Fill- 
more county, Minn. Having availed himself of the educa- 
tional facilities offered by the common and high schools of 
that neighborhood, he attended for two years the theo- 
logical school conducted by the Norwegian Augustana 
Synod near Decorah, Iowa. In 1876 he entered the acad- 
emy, then located at Marshall Wis., where he remained 
until 1880. His theological course he completed at the 
Philadelphia Lutheran Theological Seminary in 1882. 
Since his ordination to the ministry in 1880, he has also 


done some work in connection with the post-graduate 
course of the Chicago Lutheran Seminary. Jensson has 
served Norwegian Lutheran churches in the following 
places: At Wiota, Iowa, a few months; at Leland, 111., 
from 1882 to 1885; in Milwaukee, Wis., from 1885 to 1890; 
and at Clinton, Wis., from 1885 to 1899, settling at his 
present place in the latter year. From 1886 to 1890 he 
served as secretary of the Norwegian Augustana Synod; 
and since 1894 as secretary of the United Church. In 1890 
Jensson published American i.uthernn Biographies. 
This is a bulky volume of 900 pages, and is, perhaps, the 
largest original literary \^ork published in English by a 
Scandinavian-American. As a work of reference it is very 
valuable, throwing much light upon the church history of 
the different Lutheran denominations in this country, 
including, of course, the Scandinavian organizations. In 
1896 he collected and edited ^'^itufund!^ Hanridbog. This 
v^rork enumerates and describes all the diiferent missionary, 
charitable, and educational institutions, etc., which were 
controlled or owned by members of the United Church, 
or which were in any vv^ay directly or indirectly connected 
with that organization. He was married in 1879 to Rosa 
Andrina Thompson, of Marshall, Wis. They have children. 
Jensvold, John, lawyer— Duluth— born 25 March, 1857, 
in Albany, Wis. His parents were among the first Nor- 
wegians in this country, coming here as children. Brought 
up on a farm he received his education in the public schools; 
at the State Normal school, Winona; in Luther College, 
Decorah; and in the law department of the State University 
of Iowa, from which he graduated in 1880. He practiced 


his profession in Iowa until 1888, and since at Duluth, 
where he ranks as one of the leading lawyers, and occupies 
a prominent position in political and social circles. He was 
married in 1888 to Lena Darrah, of Dubuque, Iowa. 

Johnsert, Thomas, clergyman — Norseland — born 27 
April, 1837, in Valders, Norway. He is the youngest of 
nine children, and lost his parents at an early age. At the 
age of fourteen he came with three of his brothers to the 
United States, and for some years was engaged in farming, 
then entered Concordia College, St. Louis, Mo., and grad- 
uated from the theological department of this institution 
in 1863. Since he has been located at his present place in 
Nicollet county, as pastor of Norw^egian Synod congrega- 
tions. For several years Johnsen had charge of a large 
missionary field in Minnesota, including Blue Earth, Fari- 
bault, Brown, Watonwan, Jackson, Carver, McLeod, Ren- 
ville, Meeker, Kandiyohi, Steams, Pope, Douglas, Chippewa, 
Yellowr Medicine counties. Some of his charges were 
about 300 miles apart, and could be visited only once or 
twice a year. He has done more, perhaps, than anjy other 
man to build up Norwegian Synod congregations in the 
state, and was one of the most prominent Norwegian 
Lutheran pioneer clergymen in the Northwest. In 1863 he 
married Maren E. C. Sahlgaard. She died in 1898, leaving 
three children. 

Johnson, C. J., lumber manufacturer — Minneapolis — 
bom 12 Sept., 1849, in Hofmantorp, SmMand, Sweden. He 
received a common school education; came to America in 
1869, stopping for a short time at Vasa, Minn.; proceeded 
to Stillwater, where he worked in a saw mill; removed to 


Minneapolis in 1870, where lie worked in saw mills and lum- 
ber yards and clerked in a store; completed a course in the 
high school and attended the state university; was engaged 
in the retail lumber business, in company w^ith C. A. Smith, 
at Evansville and other places, living at that place in 1879- 
84; and at the latter date he and Smith started a wholesale 
and manufacturing lumber business in Minneapolis. John- 
son withdrew from active business in 1899, and the same 
year he and his family visited Sweden and other European 
countries. He is a Republican, a member of the Sw^edish- 
Lutheran church, an excellent mechanic, and a great reader, 
having one of the largest libraries of any Scandinavians in 
the Northwest. Johnson w^as married to Mary S. Craft, of 
Vestergotland, Sweden, in 1882. They have three sons. 

Johnson, Gustavus, musician — Minneapolis — bom 2 
Nov., 1856, in Hull, England. His father was a Swede, 
his mother an English lady. Johnson was only a child w^hen 
the family moved to Stockholm, Sw^eden; here he studied 
rausic under the direction of A. Lindstrom, G. Mankell, Con- 
rad Nordquist, and Prof. Winje. He left the "Venice of the 
North" in 1875, and, after a brief stay in the East, came 
West, appearing in concerts in all the leading cities in Illi- 
nois, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota. Since 1880 Johnson 
has resided in Minneapolis, is recognized as one of the lead- 
ing pianists in the Northwest, and in the many concerts in 
w^hich he performs he alw^ays receives the most flattering 
comments. As a teacher Johnson ranks among the fore- 
most, his instruction being sought by students from all over 
the Northwest. In 1898 he founded a piano school, and 
next year he established the Johnson School of Music, 


Oratory and Dramatic Art, an institution -which has a high 
reputation. He is also highly spoken of as a composer. In 
1882 he was married to Caroline F. Winslow, an American 
lady, of Royalton, Vt. They have one child. 

Johnson, Marcus, state senator — Atwater — born 14 July, 
1849, in the northern part of Helsingland, Sweden. When 
an infant of only two years of age he came with his parents 
to the United States; they settled at Waupaca, Wis., but 
moved to Kandiyohi county, Minn., five years later, where 
Johnson has resided ever since. In 1880 he was a delegate 
to the Republican national convention which met in Chicago 
and nominated Garfield for president, represented his district 
in the state legislature in 1883, and served in the state sen- 
ate during the sessions of 1887-89. In 1890 President Har- 
rison appointed him collector of internal revenues for Min- 
nesota. He is interested in elevators, flouring mills, and 
other large enterprises in different parts of the state. John- 
son is not married. 

Johnson, Tosten, pioneer and state senator — Black 
Hammer — ^bom 21 July, 1834, in Valders, Norway. At the 
age of tw^elve he learned the blacksmith's trade; came to this 
country in 1851; resided for one year in Dane county. Wis.; 
then settled in Houston county, Minn., where he has ever 
since been engaged in farming. The first Norwegian settle- 
ments in the state seem to have been started in Houston 
and Fillmore counties in 1852 and 1853, and Johnson and 
his brother are the first Norwegian settlers in Minnesota 
that have yet been recorded. He was drafted into the army 
in 1864, and says that "being discharged at the close of the 
war without any wounds" is the chief success he has had in 


life; represented his district in the state legislature during the 
sessions of 1869, 1871, and 1873; was elected state senator 
in 1886 and re-elected two years later; and has held various 
local offices, having been county commissioner for four years 
and railway postal clerk 1880-85. Johnson is one of the 
leading and most influential Scandinavians in Houston 
county. He is a Republican and was married in 1861. 

Johnston, L. A., clergyman — St. Paul — bom 12 Aug., 
1855, in Sugar Grove, Pa. His parents were natives of 
Hesleby, SmMand, Sweden, and came to this country in 
1846, being among the earliest Swedish arrivals in the nine- 
teenth century. They first settled at Buffalo, but removed 
to Sugar Grove two years later. Young Johnston received a 
common school education; studied music about four years 
under a private instructor; attended the high school at 
Sugar Grove for three years; and continued his studies at 
Augustana College, graduating from the college department 
in 1879, and from the theological department in 1881. 
From 1881 to 1886 he was pastor of a Swedish Augustana 
congregation in Des Moines, Iowa. While located there he 
w^as office editor of Betbania, a religious bi-monthly, and 
vice-president of the Iowa Conference for one year. His 
work at Des Moines was successful, and his congregation 
erected a $20,000 church building during his stay there. 
Johnston next removed to Rockford, 111., where he served the 
First Lutheran Church, the largest congregation of Augus- 
tana Synod, until 1894, and since that year he has been pastor 
of the First Swedish Lutheran Church of St. Paul. He was 
vice-president of the Illinois Conference for three years, and 
n 1894 was elected president of the same body; was a mem- 



1\ r l\l \\ISIN 

REV. L. A. JOFIXSl'U.N. S'l'. I'.U I, 



ber of the board of directors of the Augustana Hospital in 
Chicago for three terms; has been a member of the board of 
directors of the Augustana Book Concern ever since the 
synod took charge of it; has been a member of the board of 
directors of Augustana College since 1893, and chairman of 
the same for two years; was a member of the board of direc- 
tors of Gustavus Adolphus College for three years, and 
chairman of the same for 3 years; and has been a member 
of the board of directors of the Bethesda Hospital for three 
years, and chairman for the same length of time. Johnston 
has often lectured on social, economic, and historical topics, 
vrithin as well as outside the Augustana Synod; and he pre- 
pares his sermons w^ith great care. He was married to 
Anna S. Lindgren, of Rock Island, 111., in 1881; they have 
several children. 

Kildahl, J. N., clergyman and educator — Northfield — 
bom 4 Jan., 1857, near Trondhjem, Norway. His father 
being a school teacher, young Kildahl received a careful 
Christian training; came with his parents to Goodhue 
county, Minn., in 1866; was a regular attendant at common 
and parochial schools; attended Luther College, graduating 
in 1879; and closed his studies at Luther Seminary, Madison, 
Wis., in 1882, by passing his theological examinations. He 
was at once ordained, and served congregations in Goodhue 
county from 1882 to 1889, excepting one year (1885-86), 
when he occupied a chair of theology in the Red Wing Semi- 
nary. In 1889 he accepted a call from the Bethlehem church 
in Chicago, which he served during the next ten years. 
For some years he was secretary of the United Church. In 
the fall of 1899 he entered upon his duties as president of 


St. Olaf College, Northfield. Rev. J. C. Jensson, in his 
American Lutheran Biographies, says: "Kildahl's ser- 
mons combine the instructive, the rhetorical, the logical, and 
the emotional in fair proportions. His genial, generous 
spirit, his facility at adapting himself to persons of every 
character and condition, and his disposition to identify 
himself with them in all their joys, and sorrows, and inter- 
ests, give him an influence over them which few^ pastors 
possess." Kildahl for years has been a leading mind in the 
United Church, and even in the most heated controversies 
friend and foe alike w^ould agree that his fair-mindedness is 
more than ordinary. He w^as married to Bertha Soine in 
1882; they have children. 

Rildsigf, Jens Jensen, clergyman— Albert Lea— bom 30 
Jan., 1856, in Brejning, near Ringkobing, Denmark. He 
received a military education at Viborg, having taken the 
corporal and sergeant examinations; bought his father's 
farm and worked it for a couple of years; emigrated in 1881, 
coming directly to Chicago, 111., where he had a market 
garden, but lost all his property by a flood in 1885; and 
entered Chicago Theological Seminary, completing his 
studies in 1889. He associated himself with the Danish 
Evangelical Lutheran Association in America, becoming one 
of the leading men in that organization. After his ordina- 
tion in 1889 he organized a church at Racine, Wis., and was 
elected visitor to the northern district in 1891, and the same 
year accepted a call to Minneapolis, Minn. He has served 
as a member of the board of trustees of Trinity Seminary, 
Blair, Neb., as well as treasurer of Kirke Bladet. He 
returned to his old congregation in Racine in 1895; but the 


next year he consented to take charge of the Danish 
emigrant mission work in New York and Brooklyn, besides 
serving some congregations in the vicinity, and accepted a 
call to his present place in 1898. Through the union of the 
Danish Lutheran churches, Kildsig became a member of the 
United Danish Lutheran Church in 1896, being the same year 
appointed district president of the eastern district of the 
latter organization. Kildsig was married in 1887 to Ane 
Marie Kristine Mose, a daughter of a well-to-do farmer in 
Denmark, w^here he had gone for the purpose of celebrating 
his marriage. 

Kittelson, Charles, state treasurer — Montevideo — bom 
1837, in Sigdal, Kristiania stift, Norway. He came to this 
country at the age of thirteen; resided for seven years in 
Wisconsin; then moved to- Albert Lea, Minn., where he 
resided for several years, and was county treasurer of Free- 
bom county for six terms. At the outbreak of the Civil 
War he enlisted in the Tenth Minnesota Infantry, was suc- 
cessively promoted to second lieutenant, first lieutenant, 
and captain of company E of his regiment. In 1872 he 
was presidential elector; served as state treasuer in 1880-87; 
was for a few years connected with a couple of banks in St. 
Paul; moved to Minneapolis in 1890, where he was presi- 
dent of Columbia National Bank until it failed about seven 
years later; and has since together with a son been operat- 
ing a flour mill in Montevideo. Kittelson seems to have 
been out of place as a public servant. His bookkeeping as 
treasurer of Freeborn county could not be disentangled by 
experts. Ignorance rather than dishonesty appears to 
have been his main fault. He is a Republican. 


Knatvold, T. V., legislator and banker— Albert Lea — 
bom 2 Oct., 1853, in Norway. He came to this country 
in 1862 with his parents, settling in Freeborn county, 
Minn.; received a common school and high school educa- 
tion; and in 1877 engaged in the hardware business at 
Albert Lea. Since 1893 he has been engaged in the banking 
business. Knatvold served as alderman of the city of 
Albert Lea for several years, and was elected mayor in 
1893, and re-elected in 1894. In 1890 he was nominated 
for state senator by the Republicans, but was defeated by 
the combined forces of the other parties. In 1896 he was 
elected to that position by a majority of almost one thous- 
and, and re-elected in 1898. Knatvold is a Republican, and 
belongs to the Norwegian Synod. He is married. 

Lagerstrom, R., musician— St. Peter— born 12 June, 
1861, in Spring Garden, Minn. His parents came from 
Sweden to the U. S. in the early fifties. He commenced to 
study music when only four years old; continued his studies 
at Northfield, and completed his musical education at the 
Royal Conservatory of Music, Stockholm, Sweden, w^here 
he, after three years' attendance, graduated in 1888. Since 
he has had charge of the musical department of Gustavus 
Adolphus College. In 1890 he received the degree of master 
of music of Alfred University, Alfred Center, N. Y., and 
two years later the degree of doctor of music was con- 
ferred upon him by the Grand Conservatory of Music, New 
York. Both degrees were bestow^ed upon him on the merits 
of his compositions. He composed the excellent Cantata, 
rendered in 1883, at the great celebration of the three 
hundredth anniversary of the adoption of the Upsala decree. 


lyagerstrom was married to Mary Carlson, of East Union, 
Minn., in 1888. 

Langum, Samuel, state legislator— Preston— bom 18 
Aug., 1857, in Fillmore county, Minn. His parents were 
Norwegians. He attended an academy in Wisconsin, the 
high school of Decorah, Iowa, and Augsburg Seminary, 
Minneapolis. After having completed his education he 
returned to Fillmore county, where he taught school for a 
while; was deputy register of deeds for four years; was 
elected sheriff in 1881; was warden of the penitentiary at 
Stillwater for some time; became editor and proprietor of a 
local newspaper in Preston; was elected to the state legis- 
lature in 1892; has been secretary of the state senate for 
some years. Langum was married to Emma C. McCoUum 
in 1878; they have children. 

LiljegFen, N, M., clergyman — Minneapolis — bom 9 Dec, 
1846, in Vemmerlof, Sk&ne, Sweden. His parents w^ere 
farmers, but young Liljegren received a college education in 
Gothenburg; joined the Methodist chUrch at the age of 
twenty-two; preached and delivered temperance speeches in 
different parts of the kingdom until he emigrated in 1886; 
had charge of a church in Chicago for three years, then 
moved to Marinette, Wis.; came to Minneapolis in 1890; 
and later on settled at Aurora, 111. Liljegren has written 
some books, contributes regularly to newspapers, is an 
ardent temperance man and a good speaker. In 1876 he 
was married to Sofie Witting of Gothenburg. They have 

Lind, Alfred, physician and surgeon — Minneapolis — 
bom 11 March, 1862, in Tr&fvad, Yestergotland, Sweden. 


His parents -were fanners. He came to America in 1880, 
and his life since that date has been chiefly that of the 
indomitable student, as may be seen by a glance at the fol- 
lowing record: In 1887 he received the degree of A. B. at 
Augustana College; that of B. S. in the University of Minne- 
sota in 1889; graduated from the medical department of the 
same institution in 1891; practiced medicine for two years 
at Lake Park, Minn.; studied one year at the University of 
Berlin, Germany, and received the doctor's degree of this 
institution in 1894; practiced for two years in Minneapolis; 
studied a few months in New York; completed a one year's 
course in Gymnastiska Centralinstitutet, Stockholm, 
Sweden, graduating in 1897; practiced for some time in 
Minneapolis; and graduated as candidate of medicine from 
the University of Upsala, Sweden, in 1898; and as physician 
and surgeon from Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden, 
in 1899. Probably no other Scandinavian-American physi- 
cian can point to such a record as the above. But Lind has 
not only obtained a thorough theoretical medical educa- 
tion, but has also been very successful in his practice, and 
undoubtedly ranks as one of the leading Swedish physicians 
in this country. For the third time he began to practice his 
profession in MinneapoUs in 1899. He is a member of the 
Augustana Synod, and affiliates with the RepubHcan party. 
In 1892 heviras married to Hannah Johnson, of Axtell, Neb.; 
they have a couple of children. 

Llnd, John, governor — Uew Ulm — bom 25 March, 1854, 
in KUnna, SmMand, Sweden. At the age of fourteen Lind 
came to America, settling in Goodhue county, Minn., where 
he was obliged from the outset to aid his parents in sup- 


porting the family. In the fall of 1868, having been in 
this country only a few months, he was so unfortunate 
as to lose his left arm in handling a gun, or rather on 
account of the stupidity of a surgeon who appears to have 
made an unnecessary amputation. But with untiring 
energy and preseverance Lind was still able to make his 
way with one arm, and at the same time to attend school, 
so that in 1870 he obtained a teacher's certificate. In 1873 
he moved to Sibley county, Minn., and came to New Ulm 
the year following. From 1875—76 he attended the Univer- 
sity of Minnesota. Lind had for some time cherished the 
idea of entering the legal profession, and with this object in 
view^ he devoted himself to the study of law in private, 
partly by himself and partly in an attorney's office in New 
Ulm. In 1876 he was admitted to the bar, and opened a 
law office of his own the year following, when he was also 
elected superintendent of schools for Brown county, a posi- 
tion he held for two years. In 1881 Lind was appointed 
receiver in the U. S. land office at Tracy, a position he held 
till 1885. These duties, however, did not prevent him from 
continuing in his legal profession, in which his eminent 
talents soon made him distinguished. But not only did 
Lind become noted as one of the ablest lawyers in his part of 
the state, but his great ability in public life, and his excellent 
qualities as a man soon convinced the people of the state of 
Minnesota of his eminent fitness for representing their com- 
monwealth in Congress. Consequently, in 1886, he was 
elected congressman for the second district, and so well did 
he discharge his duties that he was elected for a second term 
by an overwhelming majority, while nearly all the other 


candidates on the Republican ticket -were defeated, a fact 
which illustrates Lind's popularity. While in Congress, 
Lind introduced and succeeded in passing a great number of 
important measures, such as, a bill by which all foreign 
books not published in .England are admitted to the United 
States free of duty, and an amendment to a bill by which 
foreigners who serve on United States men-of-war may 
become citizens, as well as if they were on land. He also 
secured the location and erection of an Indian school at 
Pipestone City, a United States court house at Mankato, 
and the passage of a law^ dividing the state into six districts 
for holding United States court, instead of one. The two 
first mentioned measures are very important to the adopted 
citizens, and Lind deserves great credit for having procured 
the passage of such wise laws, which have directly greatly 
benefited the Scandinavian-Americans. He declined a third 
nomination, and intended to devote his whole time to his 
personal affairs. But when the silver issue became the pre- 
dominent feature of the presidential campaign in 1896, he 
sided ^th the Silverites, and the Fusion forces nominated 
him for governor. Lind refused to accept the nomination. 
But after having been besieged for about two weeks by a 
large number of honest Silverites and some unscrupulous 
demogogues, he consented to accommodate them. During a 
campaign of much bitterness, he was severely criticized by 
most of his former Republican friends, and mistrusted by 
many of his new allies^ But in spite of this he received 
about fifty thousand votes more than his party colleagues, 
and came within three thousand votes of being elected, and 
many believed that he actually beat his opponent, whose 




party had controlled the politics of the state for more than 
a third of a century. Lind's success was remarkable, con- 
sidering that the majority of the leading men of his own 
nationality, especially the Swedish Lutheran clergymen, 
bitterly opposed him. He probably did not receive over 
twenty-five per cent of the Swedish votes in the state, as 
most of them are ardent Republicans. He received by far 
more Norwegian votes than Swedish, even in Norwegian 
Republican counties, as compared with Swedish Republican 
counties. Consequently, the result of the election was due 
more to Lind's popularity and his opponent's weakness 
than to any other cause or causes. The congressional 
records show that Lind virtually made the same speeches 
during the campaign on the silver question, as he had done 
in Congress a few years before when he was considered a 
loyal Republican. Yet his standpoint on this issue has made 
an epoch in the political history of the state of Minnesota. 
Lind was quarter master in the army during the Spanish 
War in 1898, and w^as elected governor the same year, 
running about 60,000 ahead of his ticket, thus becoming the 
first Swedish-bom governor in the United States, as well as 
being the only man of that nationality who ever served in 
Congress. In 1898 the Swedes in general, and the Lutheran 
clergy in particular, did not oppose him with the same 
fierceness as in 1896. Yet it is very doubtful if he received a 
majority of the Swedish votes in the state. All people admit 
that Lind made an excellent record in Congress. It is not 
time yet to express an opinion in regard to his executive 
abiUty. He has a difficult position to fill, being opposed by 
a hostile legislature, and surrounded by a hungry crowd of 


office seekers, and some of his appointments have been 
severely criticized even by bis own party. Lind is a good 
Icelandic scholar, speaks English without a foreign accent, 
and is an able orator. He was married in 1879 to Alice 
Shepard. They have three children. 

Lindholm, A. T., writer and poet — Stillwater — born 9 
May, 1835, in Gothenburg, Sweden. He received a college 
and commercial education in his native city; emigrated to 
the U. S. in 1854; was book keeper in Galva, 111., for two 
years; then moved to Mankato, Minn., where he w^as cash- 
ier of the First National Bank for fifteen years, besides 
being deputy [collector of internal revenue. In 1871 Lind- 
holm, in company with Col. H. Mattson and H. Sahlgaard, 
went into the banking and exchange business in St. Paul, 
but seven years later he moved to Stillwater, where he has 
resided ever since, being employed as book beeper for differ- 
ent business houses. Both in 1878 and in 1890 he was the 
Democratic nominee for secretary of state, but w^ith the 
rest of his ticket was defeated. Lindholm is prominent as 
a literary man, and especially noted as a skillful translator 
from the Scandinavian languages into English. Among other 
things he has translated Tegner's Svea and Skng till 
Solen, Runeberg's Sveaborg and several of his Fanrik 
Stkls SAgner, Geijer's Vikingen, and many of Isben's 
poems. He has also made a successful attempt as a dra- 
matic author in the English language, in which his lengthy 
drama, Demosthenes, is written. In 1888 he was elected 
honorary member of the Nordiska Litera.tur-Sa.llskapet 
of Stockholm, Sweden, an honor w^hich only a few^ Swedish- 
Americans besides Lindholm enjoy. He has been a member 


of the board of education of Stillwater, and was married 
to Anna Olson, of Mankato, Minn., in 1862. They have 

Listoe, Soren, journalist — St. Paul— bom 27 April, 
1846, in Copenhagen, Denmark. His grandfather was a 
prominent officer in the Danish army. Listoe received a 
good education through private instruction; came to this 
country in 1866 to join his father, who had previously emi- 
grated; was connected with Danish-Norw^egian newspapers 
in Wisconsin for a couple of years; went to Minneapolis, 
and was associate editor of Nordisk Folkeblad until 
1871; then became mail agent, and settled in Breckenridge. 
In 1874 he w^as elected to the state legislature, being the 
first Dane in the state who served in this body. In 1875 
he w^as appointed register of the U. S. land office at Alex- 
andria, a position w^hich he held for eight yesrs. For 
several years Listoe lived on his farm near Breckenridge; 
became editor-in-chief of Nordvesten, St. Paul, in 1887; 
was appointed U. S. consul at Dusseldorf, Germany, in 
1892; but after having remained abroad for one year he 
returned to Minnesota, and again took charge of Nord- 
vesten. He was appointed major on the governor's staff 
in 1886, and has since served as aid-de-camp to all subse- 
quent governors, having in the meantime been promoted to 
the rank of colonel. Listoe has for years been considered to 
be one of the most prominent Danes in the state, and was 
appointed by President McKinley U. S. consul at Rotter- 
dam, Holland, in 1897. In 1872 he was married to Hannah 
Johnson; they have several children. 

Lobeek, Engebret E., temperance lecturer — Farwell — 


bom 11 Oct., 1864., in Tryssil, Hamar stift, Norway. He 
emigrated to America in 1867, and spent his boyhood and 
early manhood on his father's farm near Holmes City, Minn.; 
"dug on the farm in the day, and read literature in the 
night"; and, yielding to a yearning for a better education 
than the common schools could afford, studied successively 
at Augsburg Seminary, Wraaman's Academy, the State 
University of Minnesota, all at Minneapolis, and Willmar 
Seminary. Some years ago he began to lecture on temper- 
ance, and so successful did he prove in this line of w^ork that 
at present he is one of the most popular Scandinavian tem- 
perance lecturers in America. His chief points of strength 
are his evident devotion to the cause which he advocates; 
his self-forgetting, contagious enthusiasm; his fluency of 
speech; his tremendous voice; and last, but not least, his 
magnificent physique. Lobeck frequently contributes both 
prose and poetry to Norwegian papers, chiefly Reform and 
Ungdotnmexis Ven. In 1894 he published a small collec- 
tion of poems, Forglemtnigei, the first edition of which 
was exhausted in a few months, and five years later issued 
Billeder fra. D'ddens Dal, a temperance and prohibition 
argument cast in the form of a novel. He is a member of 
the Swedish Augustana Synod, a "prohibitionist from head 
to foot," and w^as president of the Wisconsin Total Absti- 
nence Association in 1896. In 1896 he was married to 
Martha Nordby, a graduate of the Fargo high school, in 
North Dakota. They have children. 

Lokensgaard, 0., clergyman and educator — Madison — 
born 23 Nov., 1854, in Aal, Kristiania stift, Norway. At 
the age of three he came with his parents to the United 


States; they settled in Rice county, Minn.; but four years 
later moved to Dakota, remaining there, however, only one 
year; since 1862 they have resided in Nicollet county, Minn. 
Lokensgaard graduated from Luther College, Decorah, 
low^a, in 1878, and completed his studies at Luther Semi- 
nary three years later. Then had charge of a church at 
Granite Falls, Minn., until 1892, when he became principal 
of the normal school at Madison, which position he has 
filled with great credit ever since. Lokensgaard is the most 
influential Norwegian advocate of total abstinence in the 
Minnesota valley. In 1881 he was married to Ellen Kravik, 
of Dane county, Wis.; she died in 1892. In 1894 he was 
married to Anna Romtvedt, of Cottonwood county, Minn. 
He has several children. 

Lomen, G. J., lawyer and state legislator — St. Paul — 
bom 28 Jan., 1854, near Decorah, Iowa. His parents came 
from Valders, Norway, in 1850, and settled on a farm in 
Iowa. Young Lomen attended Luther College for six years, 
and graduated from the law department of the University of 
Iowa in 1875; then moved to Caledonia, Houston county, 
Minn., where he practiced his profession, was clerk of court 
for eight years, and held various local trusts. In 1885 he 
located in St. Paul; represented his ward in the state legis- 
lature in 1891; was the Republican candidate for municipal 
judge in 1890, and, with the rest of the ticket, was defeated. 
Lomen has conducted several important professional cases, 
and is by general consent considered to be one of the leading 
lawyers in St. Paul. He is a member of the Norwegian 
Synod, and was married to Julia E. M. Joys, of Manistee, 
Mich., in 1878; they have several children. 


Lund, E, G., educator — Minneapolis — bom 10 Aug., 
1852, in Arendal, Norway. Lund came -witli his parents to 
Springfield, 111., in 1853; there they remained four years; 
then moved to St. Paul, returning to Springfield, ho-wever, 
in 1862. In 1871 he entered the college at Springfield, and 
after having studied there two years went to Thiel College, 
Greenville, Pa., from which institution he graduated in 1877. 
He then began the study of theology at the General Council 
Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, graduating in 1881. 
Lund w^as then ordained for the ministry, and accepted a 
call to four congregations in Westmoreland county, Pa. In 
1883 he accepted a call to the Norwegian- English Lutheran 
church at Milwaukee, Wis., belonging to the Norwegian 
Augustana Synod. Tw^o years later he was called to an 
English Lutheran church at Greensburg, Pa., where he 
remained for six years. In 1888 he was called to the presi- 
dency of Thiel College, but declined. In 1891 the home mis- 
sion committee of the General Council extended a six months' 
call to Lund as home missionary at Tacoma, Washington. 
In 1891 he accepted a call to become English professor of 
theology at the theological seminary of the United Church, 
Lund is considered to be one of the foremost men in the 
United Church, and the degree of doctor of divinity was 
conferred upon him in 1899 by Wittenberg College, Spring- 
field, 111., one of the leading English Lutheran institutions 
in the country. He is said to be the only Norwegian-Ameri- 
can Lutheran -who has ever received such degree. In 1891 
he was married to Anna Hippee, an American lady of 
Greenville, Pa. They have one daughter. 

Lundeen, John August, officer in the U. S. army— 


St. Peter— bom 6 March, 1848, in Hvetlanda, SmMand, 
Sweden. At the age of five he came with his parents to the 
U. S.; they settled in Minnesota. Young Lundeen attended 
the Swedish school in Carver for about a year; studied at 
Augustana College, Paxton, 111., in 1865-66, and graduated 
from the United States Military Academy, West Point, N.Y., 
in 1873, being the fifth in his class. Since his graduation he 
has served with his regiment, the Fourth United States 
Artillery, in various garrisons; for example, in San Fran- 
cisco, Oregon, Alaska, Virginia, Connecticut, Rhode Island, 
Boston, Minnesota, Georgia, and Baltimore. From 1876— 
79 he was professor of military science and tactics, as well 
as teacher of mathematics and the Swedish language, in the 
University of Minnesota. From 1887—92 he was assistant 
professor of mathematics in the United States Military 
Academy at West Point. It must be remembered that the 
mathematical instruction in that institution is considered to 
be the most thorough of any schools in the world, and 
Lundeen's appointment as instructor in this branch of 
knowledge was a high recognition of his ability. Besides 
Lundeen there are only three Scandinavian-bom (all Swedes) 
■who have graduated from West Point. He w^as promoted 
captain of artillery in 1898 and assigned to the Seventh 
Artillery, which was then organized at Fort Slocum, N. Y., 
and commanded Fort Greble, R. I. — a fort that com- 
mands the western entrance to Narragansett Bay — during 
the Spanish-American War. Lundeen is, of course, in 
appearance, speech, and sentiments, a thorough American, 
yet he is proud of his Swedish birth and his Scandinavian 
ancestry, and takes pains to let his nationality be known. 


In 1879 he was married to Mary Cutler Johnson, of Minne- 
apolis, Minn. They have two daughters. 

Lundholm, Erik Mauritz, physician and surgeon — St. 
Paul — ^bom 20 June, 1858, in Venjan, Dalame, Sweden. 
After having completed his college education at Falun, he 
entered the medical department of the University of Upsala 
in 1881, remaining there five years; and then continued his 
studies at the Karolinska Institutet located in Stockholm, 
from w^hich he graduated in 1890. It must be remembered 
that the laws of Sweden require the medical students to 
take their first examination at one of the universities of 
Upsala or Lund, the second and third examinations may be 
taken either at one of the universities or at the Karolinska 
Institutet in Stockholm; besides, the students must do certain 
hospital work, and their last hospital work must be done 
in Stockholm. And the students, to save expense and time, 
generally complete the first five or six years of their medical 
studies at one of the universities, and the last four at the 
Karolinska Institutet. Lundholm also followed this custom. 
For three summers he served as assistant physician at the 
springs of Satra, Vestmanland, and in Djursatra, Vester- 
gotland; then visited the United States in 1888, passed his 
examination in St. Paul before the state medical board of 
Minnesota, and returned to Sweden to complete his studies. 
Since 1891 he has successfully practiced in St. Paul, besides 
being connected with Bethesda Hospital in St. Paul, having 
had charge for some years of the gynecalogical and surgical 
department of this institution, and is recognized as one of the 
ablest surgeons in the Northwest. Lundholm was married 
to Anna Olson, of Gestrikland, in 1890. They have children. 




Lunnow, Magnus, journalist — Minneapolis — born 25 
Sept., 1854, in Broby, Ski,ne, Sweden. Lunnow received a 
college education in Kristianstad, served for some time as 
private tutor, and emigrated to America in 1874, coming to 
Canada, where he supported himself as* a common laborer, 
later as a shipping clerk. In 1878 he accepted a position on 
the editorial staff of Svenska Tribanen, and became 
managing editor of Minnesota Stats Tidning- two years 
later. After some time Lunnow became editor and part 
proprietor of Sp-ens&a Folkets Tidning, in- Minneapolis, 
with w^hich paper he is still connected. Si^enska Folkets 
Tidning; which may be regarded as a continuation of 
Minnesota Stats Tidning, and as the exponent of the 
progressive and liberal ideas once represented by the latter, 
has had a marked success, which is largely due to Lunnow's 
able service. Lunnow is unmarried. 

Magnus, Daniel, educator — Northfield — born 1851, in 
Vermland, Sweden. At the age of nineteen he emigrated to 
this country; graduated from the classical department of 
Oberlin College, Ohio, in 1881, and from the theological de- 
partment of that institution three years later; then studied 
one year in Sweden and Germany, and attended the Univer- 
sity of Upsala, Sweden, in 1891-92. Since 1885 he has been 
professor in Carleton College, Northfield, being one of the 
most successful Swedish educators in the state, and through 
his efforts many young Scandinavians have been induced to 
attend Carleton College. Magnus is unmarried. 

Mattson, Hans, pioneer and soldier — Minneapolis — ^bom 
23 Dec, 1832, in Onnestad, Skane, Sweden; died 5 March, 
1893. The North, at the time of his death, gave the fol- 


lowing biography of him: "He received a good education 
in Kristianstad; served a year and a half in the Swedish 
army as cadet of the artillery. Emigrated in the spring of 
1851, arriving at Boston June 29. Suffered the hardships 
and disappointments incident to ignorance of the English 
language, and inability to perform hard manual labor. 
Went West, to Illinois, in 1852, settling the next year in 
Minnesota, which henceforth remained his home. Was mar- 
ried in 1855 at Vasa, Goodhue county, Minn., to Cherstin 
Peterson, w^ho, with five children, survives him. Quit farm- 
ing and went into mercantile business, but was caught in 
the crisis of 1857. Read law at Red Wing, and was ad- 
mitted to the bar, but soon gave up practice to become 
county auditor of Goodhue county. Commenced to take 
active part in politics as a Republican. During the summer 
of 1861, organized a company of young Goodhue county 
Swedes and Norw^egians, -with w^hom, in the fall, he reported 
at Fort Snelling; w^as elected its captain, and went South 
with the Third Regiment in Nov, Was promoted to major 
the following year; w^as on his w^ay back after having been 
home sick on furlough, w^hen the regiment surrendered at 
Murfreesboro. Was made a lieutenant colonel after the 
surrender of Vicksburg, and, in April, 1863, was promoted 
to colonel, remaining in command of the regiment until 
Sept. 16, 1865, when it was mustered out at Fort Snelhng, 
Minn. Assisted in establishing Svenaka Amerikanaren 
in Chicago. Was, in 1867, appointed secretary of the Min- 
nesota board of emigration. Returned on his first visit to 
Sweden in 1868. Was in 1869 elected secretary of state 
for Minnesota, but left before the expiration of his term with 


his family for Sweden, as general agent in northern Europe 
for the Northern Pacific R. R. Co. Returned to the United 
States early in 1876. Was elected a presidential elector the 
same year. Helped to establish Srenska Tribunen, of 
Chicago, having previously commenced the pubhcation of 
Minnesota Stats Tidning, at Minneapolis, with which 
latter he remained identified until 1881. On July 2, 1881, was 
appointed consul general to India. Filled this important 
position with great credit for two years, when he returned 
home and tendered his resignation. Was appointed man- 
ager of a land grant company in New Mexico and 
Colorado. In 1886 was elected secretary of state for Min- 
nesota, and re-elected in 1888, serving two terms. In 1887 
he organized the Security Savings and Loan Association, of 
Minneapolis, whose president he was at the time of his 
death. Two years later he formed a company for the pub- 
lication of The North. Was one of the principal promoters, 
in 1888, of the 250th anniversary celebration of the landing 
of the first Swedish settlers on the Delaware, and collected 
the addresses delivered on this occasion in a small Souvenir. 
In 1891 wrote and published a volume of recollections, 
which in the Swedish version is known as Minnen, while 
the English edition is entitled The Story of an Emigrant. 
Mattson's knowledge was confined to no particular class of 
people. Swedish-Americans naturally looked up to him as 
a leader, for he possessed in an eminent degree many of the 
requirements of leadership." Valkyrian for August, 1897, 
says of Mattson: "His character shows us, in general fea- 
tures, the product of the two factors, Swedish birth and 
education combined with a long and active life under the 


protection of the American flag. Very few Swedish-Ameri- 
cans have led such a romantic life as his. It w^as rich in 
sudden changes and new departures; and behind the out- 
lines of this life lay an interesting world which at first 
sight looks less important, but w^hich in fact is more instruc- 
tive to him who desires to study it in the light of the spirit 
of the times in which he most vigorously appeared as the 
Swedish pioneer in America." 

Megaarden, Philip Tollef, sheriff— Minneapolis— bom 2 
Oct., 1864, in Alamakee county, Iowa. His parents were 
bom in Norway, and his father served three years in the 
Fourth Iowa Cavalry during .the Civil War. Young 
Megaarden attended public schools in Dickinson county, 
Iowa, and in Minneapolis, and he has resided in that city 
since 1877. In 1878 he entered Augsburg Seminary, but 
the death of his father compelled him to discontinue his 
college education and enter the everyday battle of life in 
order to support a number of little brothers and sisters. 
At first he performed manual labor, but later on he suc- 
cessively held the positions of clerk in a fiiel office, book- 
keeper, and court officer. Meanwhile he continued his 
studies as best he could, and often did he pore over his 
books into the small hours of night. In the course of time 
he managed to take a course in a business college, and in 
1892 completed a three years' course in the law department 
of the State University, receiving the degree of LL. B. 
Megaarden was admitted to the bar the same year; com- 
pleted a post-graduate course in his alma mater the next 
year, receiving the degree of LL. M.; practiced law for some 
time; served as chief deputy sheriff of Hennepin county in 


1895-96; resumed the practice of law; but on Jan. 1, 1899, 
entered upon his duties as sheriff of Hennepin county. As 
deputy sheriff Megaarden made an excellent record, and 
demonstrated his ability to manage public affairs. Hence- 
forth it was generally admitted that he was one of the 
leading Scandinavian public men in the city of Minneapolis. 
He is a rock-ribbed Republican, and belongs to more than a 
dozen different political clubs and secret organizations, of 
which may be mentioned the K. of P., the I. O. 0. P., the 
Freemasons, the Elks, the Viking League, the Modem 
Woodmen, the Red Men, the Modem Samaritans, and 
Sonner af Norge. He is also secretary of the interstate 
sheriffs' association. Megaarden was married to Angeline 
Erickson, of Lake Crystal, Minn., in 1897. 

Mohn, Thorbjorn N., educator— Northfield— bom 15 
July, 1844, in Saude, Nedre Telemarken, Norway. At the 
age of nine he came with his parents to this country; they 
settled in Columbia county. Wis., but moved to Dodge 
county, Minn., in 1860. Young Mohn attended the public 
schools; worked on his father's farm for some time; gradu- 
ated from Luther College in 1870; and completed his theo- 
logical studies at Concordia Theological Seminary three 
years later. After having been ordained by the president of 
the Norwegian Synod, he was pastor of congregations in 
Chicago and St. Paul, and from 1875 to 1899 was president 
of St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minn. But as soon as the 
school became the property of the United Church in 1899, 
he was dispensed with as president, but retained as a 
teacher. Mohn is considered to be an educator, but was 
not successful as manager of the school, and the attendance 


was steadily diminisliing during tlie last decade of his 
administration. Rev. J. C. Jensson, in American Luth- 
eran Biographies, says: 'Mohn has labored faithfally to 
build up a good school, and was for several years chairman 
of the ministerial conference of the Norwegian Evangelical 
Lutheran Synod for the district of Minnesota, and in 1888 
he, together w^ith many others, severed his connection -with 
the synod, and effected the organization known as Anti- 
Missourians, which in 1890 joined in forming the United 
Norw^egian Lutheran Church.' In 1875 he was married to 
Anna Elizabeth Ringstad, of Decorah, Iowa; they have 
several children. 

Muus, Bernt Julius, clergyman— Norway— born 15 Mar., 
1832, in Snaasen, Trondhjem stift, Norway. His father 
kept a country store; his mother was a daughter of the 
rector of the parish, Jens Rynning, in whose home Muus 
was brought up, as his mother died w^hen he was an infant. 
At the age of seventeen he graduated from the Latin school 
in Trondhjem; then entered the University of Norway, not 
knowing exactly whether he should prepare for the ministry 
or become a civil engineer; but his father's entreaties pre- 
vailed, and in 1854 he received his degree as candidate of 
theology. After having been engaged in teaching, both as 
tutor for children and as teacher in a couple of schools in 
Kristiania for five years, Muus in 1859 accepted a call from 
a Norwegian Lutheran church in Holden, Goodhue county, 
Minn. Rev. J. C. Jensson, in American Lutheran Bio- 
graphies, says: "The church government kindly allowed 
him to be ordained without taking the usual minister's 
oath, which he could not take without conscientious 


scruples." Having been received as a member of the Nor- 
vregian Synod, he commenced his ministerial duties in Good- 
hue and Rice counties. Muus held meetings in twenty-eight 
preaching stations scattered throughout Minnesota and the 
western part of "Wisconsin. Most of these stations could 
be visited only twice a year. In later years, however, he 
received assistance. When the Minnesota District of the 
synod was organized in 1876, Muus w^as elected its presi- 
dent, a position he held for nine years, and was the chief 
promoter in founding St. Olaf College. Muus had had con- 
siderable experience in newspaper work when he came to 
America, and has written numerous articles for the Norwe- 
gian as well as for the Norwegian- American press, besides 
being the author of a few smaller religious books. He 
served the same congregation — which is now part of the 
United Church — ever since his arrival in this country up to 
1899, when he returned to Norway. During the predistina- 
tion controversy he sided with the Anti-Missourians, being 
for years one of the fiercest opponents of some of the prin- 
ciples advocated by the Norwegian Synod, from which 
organization he never w^ithdrew, until he was expelled in 
1898. He attempted reformation, not revolution. He held 
a unique position, being both conservative and radical. Yet 
it seems that his standpoint was more logical than that of 
his brethren who withdrew from the synod. Rev. John 
Halvorson says: "Muus was a leading spirit, a powerfiil 
character, an organizer; but unyielding and harsh in dealing 
with human frailties." He was married just before leaving 
Norway, but his family life was not happy. His wife sued 
him for cruelty and harsh treatment, in 1880, which resulted 


in a separation; and although the people at large considered 
Muus the suflfering party, yet he lost much of his influence. 

Myran, Ole H., state senator — Ada — bom 18 Jan., 1853, 
in Nore, Numedal, Norway. He received a common school 
education at his birthplace and in this country; came from 
Norway with his parents in 1868, stopping one year in 
IlUnois, and settling in Goodhue county, Minn., the follow^- 
ing year. He w^orked on farms around Zumbrota and 
clerked in that town for years; was engaged in farming on 
his own account in Lincoln county; and settled at Ada in 
1881. Here he kept a hotel for three years, and since the 
middle of the eighties he has been engaged in the mercantile 
business. In 1898 he was elected to the senate and served 
as chairman of the drainage committee. He is a Republican 
and a member of the Order of Odd Fellow^s and of the 
Knights of Pythias. Myran has been married twice, and at 
present is a w^idower. He has several children. 

Nelson, Andrew, state senator — Litchfield — bom 15 Dec, 
1829, in Fronnenge, Halland, Sweden. After having received 
a common school education he emigrated to the U. S. in 
1856, and spent the next two years in Galesburg, 111., work- 
ing as a common laborer; came to Minnesota in 1858; 
stayed near Willmar for five years, working on his claim, 
but the Indians drove him to St. Paul in 1862. The next 
year he w^ent to Washington county and engaged in farm- 
ing, staying there about five years; came to Meeker county 
in 1869, and bought a large farm. In 1871 he engaged in 
general merchandising in Litchfield, continuing the business 
until 1876; since then he has been in the banking business 
most of the time. He was president of Meeker County 






Bank for a while, has since held the same position in the 
Bank of Litchfield, and owns considerable property. Nelson 
represented his district in the state legislature in 1874, and 
in the state senate in 1875-6; has been county commissioner 
and member of the city council, and has held various local 
offices. He is a member of the Swedish Lutheran church, of 
which he has been a trustee for several years; belongs to the 
RepubHcan party; was married to Ellen Johnson in 1868. 

Nelson, Andrew, legislator— Norseland— bom 12 July, 
1837, near Kristianstad, Sweden. In 1855 he came with his 
parents to this country. They settled in Nicollet county, 
Minn., w^here Nelson now owns and cultivates several large 
fairms, and is considered to be one of the wealthiest Swedish 
farmers in Minnesota. Rev. E. Norelius in his history says 
that Nelson has taken great interest in the Swedish Luth- 
eran church, and been a constant financial contributor to 
Gustavus Adolphus College. He represented his district in 
the legislature in the seventies. In 1863 he was married to 
Carolina Pehrson; they have several children. 

Nelson, Knute, United States senator — Alexandria — 
bom 2 Feb., 1843, in Voss, near Bergen, Norway. His 
parents and their ancestors for generations back belonged 
to the yeomanry of the country. At the age of three years 
he lost his father, and a little more than three years later he 
came with his mother to the U. S., arriving at Chicago in 
July, 1849. The cholera then raged in the city, in most 
instances with fatal effect. Nelson was stricken with the 
dread disease, but was among the few fortunate ones who 
survived the plague. In 1850 he moved with his mother 
to Walworth county. Wis., and from there to Dane county, 


in the same state, in 1853. After having, through consider- 
able obstacles, obtained a fair common school education, he 
entered Albion Academy as a student in 1858, and pursued 
his studies there till 1861, when he, w^ith a score of school- 
mates, enUsted in the 4th Wisconsin Regiment. He 
remained in the service as private and non-commissioned 
ofl&cer till 1864, when he returned and resumed his studies 
at the academy, graduating in 1865. He participated with 
his regiment in the capture of New Orleans, the first siege of 
Vicksburg, the battles of Baton Rouge and Camp Bisland, 
and the siege of Port Hudson. In the great charge of this 
siege, on the 14th of June, 1863, he was wounded and cap- 
tured, and remained a prisoner until the place surrendered 
on the 9th of July. In 1865 he became a law student in the 
office of Senator Wm. F. Vilas, Madison, Wis. He was 
admitted to the bar of the circuit court for Dane county in 
1867, and immediately entered on the practice of his profes- 
sion. That year he was elected member of the assembly for 
the then second district of Dane county, his home, and w^as 
re-elected in 1868. In 1871 he moved to Alexandria, Doug- 
las county, Minn., vsrhere he has ever since been engaged in 
farming and practicing law. As a lawyer he has had an 
extensive practice in that part of the state. In 1872-74 he 
was county attorney for Douglas county, and in 1875-78 
he was state senator in the thirty-ninth legislative district, 
composed of five counties. In the senate he was instru- 
mental in securing the legislation under w^hich the unfinished 
lines of the St. Paul & Pacific Railway were completed. In 
1880 he was presidential elector on the Garfield and Arthur 
ticket. In the fall of 1882, in a campaign of unparalleled heat 


and bitterness, he was elected member of Congress for the 
fifth district of Minnesota, by a plurality of 4,500 votes. 
He was re-elected in 1884 by a plurality of 12,500 votes, 
and in 1886 he was re-elected by an almost unanimous 
vote. While in Congress he was a member of the committee 
on Indian affairs, and was especially instrumental in secur- 
ing the passage of a law for the opening of the Red Lake 
and other Indian reservations in Minnesota, and for civiliz- 
ing the Indians, and allotting lands to them in severalty for 
farming purposes. In Congress he was an ardent tariff 
reformer not altogether in harmony with his party, even 
going so far as to vote for the Mills bill. This subjected him 
to some criticism among the politicians, but the great mass 
of the people were with him and approved of his independ- 
ent course. He was a member of the board of regents of the 
state university from 1882 until 1893, and has taken a deep 
interest in the welfare and growth of that institution. In 
1892 he w^as unanimously nominated, by acclamation, can- 
didate for governor, of the Republican party, and was 
elected in November following, by a plurality of 14,620 
votes. Nelson made an excellent record as governor, and 
was again unanimously re-nominated in 1894 and re-elected 
by a plurality of 60,000 votes. But in January the following 
year he w^as elected U. S. senator by the legislature for a term 
of six years, thus becoming the first Scandinavian who has 
been chosen to represent his new country in the capacity of 
senator, governor, and congressman; and Nelson has filled 
all the positions mentioned with great credit to himself and 
has been an honor to the state of Minnesota. It may be fair, 
however, to mention that his election to the U. S. senate did 


not seem to be popular with a large majority of the people. 
They -wanted him to be their governor, they voted for him 
as such, and did not desire a substitute to occupy his chair. 
Nelson's popularity suflFered severely, yet the state did not 
lose anything, for as senator he has worked hard and con- 
scientiously. He is married and has grown children. 

Nelson, Peter, state senator — Red Wing — born 14 Apr., 
1843, in Skatelof, SmMand, Sweden. He received a common 
school education in his native country; emigrated to the 
U. S. at the age of twenty-three; lived in Rockford, 111., a 
short time, then moved to Mississippi, where for a few years 
he was engaged in Oxford as a building contractor and 
hardware merchant. Since 1873 he has been in the hard- 
ware business in Red Wing. Nelson is one of the few Swedes 
w^ho have joined the Democratic party, of which he is a lead- 
ing member, and was the party's nominee for secretary of 
state in 1892, but with the rest of the state ticket w^as 
defeated. He was a member of the Democratic central com- 
mittee for several years. In 1887 he was state senator and 
secured, among other things, the passage of a bill which 
provided for the removal of the State Reform School from 
St. Paul to Red Wing. Nelson married Olivia Olson in 
1871. They have grown children. 

Neumann, C. F., writer and sign painter — St. Paul- 
bom 17 Jan., 1850, in Jonkoping, Sweden. His father was 
a musical director, a German by birth, who traveled through 
the Scandinavian countries, but resided otherwise in Den- 
raark, of which country young Neumann's mother was a 
native. Neumann attended a Latin school in Copenhagen 
for four years; became a sailor at the age of fourteen and 


followed this life for three years, visiting both the Arctic and 
the Tropical regions and most of the European countries; 
landed in Philadelphia at the age of seventeen, and, having 
no money, he walked to Chicago, which took him seven 
weeks. After having worked as a common laborer for a 
short time he learnt the painting business; started a shop of 
his own in Chicago, in 1871; located in Minneapolis, in 
1880, and here followed his trade for eight years; then 
moved his business to St. Paul. He was one of the chief 
men in promoting the building of DaniaHall in Minneapolis. 
Neumann has contributed quite extensively to the American 
daily papers in St. Paul and Minneapolis, as well as to the 
Danish-Norwegian press. He has been married three times, 
and he had children by all his wives. 

Nilsson, F. 0., clergyman and pioneer — Houston — bom 
28 July, 1809, in Varo, Halland, Sweden; died 1881. His 
mother died when he was seven years of age, and his 
father, who owned a small farm, was a confirmed drunkard 
and had to be put under guardianship. Consequently, 
young Nilsson enjoyed few or no educational advantages, 
and at the early age of fourteen commenced to earn his own 
living by learning the shoemaker's trade, and for four years 
followed his master from house to house assisting him in 
making shoes. At the age of eighteen he became a sailor, 
and visited, among other places, also New York, where he 
deserted his vessel in 1832. A couple of years later a Metho- 
dist revivalist converted him, but he continued the life of a 
sailor until his thirtieth year. It does not appear that 
Nilsson was dissipated before his conversion, but on the 
contrary was during his youth rather religiously inclined. 


which culminated in an intense fear of damnation. In the 
fall of 1839 he visited his relatives in Sweden. He did not 
return to America as he had intended, but began to urge peo- 
ple to repent of their sins, w^andering on foot from house to 
house, from village to village. In 1842 the Seamen's Friend 
Society in New^ York appointed him missionary for the 
sailors in Gothenburg, with $100 salary a year. When he 
was married, in 1844 or 1845, his v\rages were raised to 
$175 a year, on w^hich he supported himself and family for a 
number of years. At times he also visited the surrounding 
country as well as Norway. Nilsson remained a member of 
the Lutheran state church up to 1845, although he was 
arrested a couple of times for breaking the conventicle law. 
At this time a Swedish-American sailor and Baptist, Capt. 
G. W. Schroeder, visited Gothenburg and became acquainted 
with Nilsson. Through Schroeder's influence he began to 
study the question of infant baptism, and was soon con- 
vinced that it was all wrong. As a consequence he went to 
Hamburg, Germany, in 1847, in order to be immersed by 
Rev. J. G. Oncken. On his return to Sweden he commenced 
with great discretion to preach the new doctrine. During 
the night of Sept. 21, 1848, Nilsson's wife and four other 
persons, most of whom appear to have been his relatives, 
w^ere immersed, and the first Swedish Baptist church in the 
world was at the sarae time organized in Landa village, 
Halland. A. P. Forster had been sent from Hamburg to 
perform the ceremonies. Nilsson was ordained in Hamburg 
the next spring, when the Baptists in his native land num- 
bered thirty-five persons. Religious toleration was not a 
virtue or a fashion in Sweden at that time. Nilsson was, in 


1850, mobbed, arrested, and condemned to be banished 
from the kingdom by Gota, in Jonkoping, simply 
because he had tried to spread the doctrines of the Baptists 
in his native land. He appeared in person before King 
Oscar I., and asked him to commute the sentence; then 
wrote to him to the same effect, at the same time suggesting 
that it was the duty of the Lutheran clergymen to try to re- 
convert dissenters to Lutheranism, which had not been pro- 
perly done in Nilsson's case; and at last appealed to the 
mercy of the monarch. But nothing availed. He left 
Sweden July 4, 1851, probably being the last person who 
had to be a fugitive from that kingdom for the sake of reli- 
gion. His banishment created a stir in the civilized world, 
and for a while Sweden was considered to be a land of 
intolerance and bigotry. The public opinion of the world — 
that great power before which monarchs and mobs tremble 
— had undoubtedly a great deal to do in swinging Sweden, 
at about this time, into line with the most progressive lands 
in regard to religious liberty. Yet some of the Swedish 
Lutheran clergymen, who generally have been blamed for all 
the religious shortcomings in their country, had for years 
before advocated the utmost religious freedom. Before 
Nilsson left Sweden he selected leaders for his four small 
congregations; then visited Copenhagen, Hamburg, London, 
and Norway. On his return from the latter country he 
stopped at Gothenburg to take his wife with him, and con- 
ducted a few meetings in secret, but the police sent him to 
Denmark. After having remained in Copenhagen a couple 
of years, he emigrated to America in 1853; preached for 
some time in Burlington, Iowa; bought land and settled 


near Houston, Minn., in 1855; and during five years 
organized seven Swedish Baptist congregations in Minne- 
sota. He was sent, in 1860, by an American Baptist con- 
gregation in New York as a missionary to Sweden. On his 
return lie was pardoned by King Carl XV., and soon located 
in Gothenburg, where for seven years he had charge of the 
small Baptist congregation in that city. When about sixty 
years of age, Nilsson returned to America, partly, it seems, 
because other Baptist clergymen excelled him in learning 
and ability; but principally because he had by reading some 
of Theodore Parker's w^orks commenced to doubt the truth 
of parts of the Bible. Yet for a few years afterwards he vpas 
pastor of the Swedish Baptist church at Houston; but his 
religious doubts were discovered, and most of his former 
friends deserted him. It has been asserted that he became a 
rank infidel; this has been denied by the Baptists, w^ho, 
however, admit that he could not be called an orthodox 
Christian during the last days of his eventful life, and one of 
their historians. Rev. A. G. Hall, says that the seed of infidel- 
ity had undoubtedly remained in Nilsson's soul ever since 
his youth as the result of having read Thomas Paine's 
writings. Nilsson's boldness and combativeness made up 
for what he lacked in education and talent. He converted 
many. The Baptists maintain that Nilsson was an honest 
enthusiast who sacrificed much for his religion; the Luth- 
erans and Methodists w^ho came in contact with him in the 
Northwest claim that he was a coarse and unscrupulous 
adventurer who shrank from no means to accomplish his 
purpose. Both opinions are probably correct, as he appears 
to have lacked the proper balance-wheel, and flung from 




one extreme to another, partly because his nature craved 

Nilsson, Victor, author and critic— Minneapolis — ^born 
10 Mar., 1867, in Ostra Torp, Skline, Sweden. His father 
owned this estate on the southermost point of southwest- 
em Sweden, where Victor was born, but the family resided 
in Gothenburg from 1870 to 1885. Young Nilsson received 
a careful college education in the latter city, where his 
father was a prosperous merchant. The whole family 
came to America in 1885. He was connected with the edi- 
torial staffs of various Swedish papers in the Twin Cities 
up to 1891, when he was appointed librarian of the East 
Side Branch of the Minneapolis Public Library. For a number 
of years he attended lectures in the University of Minne- 
sota, making a thorough study of Romance and Teutonic 
philology, with Old Norse history, language, and literature 
as a specialty. In 1897 this institution conferred the degree 
of doctor of philosophy upon him. His thesis on the occa- 
sion was a scientific treatise on Havatnal in the older 
Edda, and has been recognized by scholars on both sides 
of the Atlantic. Nilsson has always been an enthusiastic 
admirer of Northern culture, especially of all pertaining to 
literature, art, and music; and on these subjects has con- 
tributed many critical articles to the Swedish-American 
and Anglo-American journals and magazines. He possesses 
a fine literary judgment; and as a critic probably outranks 
all other Scandinavian-Americans. His book Fbrenta 
Staternas Presidenter has been well spoken of; and his 
history of Sweden, a large volume of nearly 500 pages and 
published in the English language in 1899, contains a com- 


plete history of the Swedish people from the earliest period 
down to the present time, and the presentation of recent 
events is especially masterly and critical. He has written a 
number of short stories, and delivered several lectures in 
different parts of the country. He was secretary of the 
executive committee of five for the great Scandinavian 
singing festival in Minneapolis in 1891. Nilsson has been presi- 
dent of the Orpheus Singing Society; financialsecretary of the 
United Scandinavian Singers of America, and of the Amer- 
ican Union of Sw^edish Singers; and w^as the official speaker 
during the concert tour to Sweden, in 1897, of Swedish- 
American singers, and at the same time visited several other 
European countries. He is not married. His sister Emma 
Nilsson has a high reputation as a singer, having for years 
studied in Berlin, Germany, where she made a successful 
debut in grand opera in 1884. His younger sister, Mrs. 
Bertha Nilsson Best, has made quite a reputation as an 
opera singer. 

Noreiius, E., clergyman and author — Vasa — bom 26 
Oct., 1833, in Hassela, Helsingland, Sweden. His parents 
were pious farmers, w^ho, like most of the Swedish people of 
the same class in those days, did not believe in any higher 
education than was necessary for confirmation; but young 
Noreiius succeeded in persuading them to permit him to 
attend a college in Hudiksvall for a couple of years. He 
was religiously inclined from his early childhood, and was 
an enthusiastic believer in the pietism advocated by Rev. F. 
G. Hedberg, the noted Finnish divine. Without any spe- 
cific reason or any certain plans for the future, he, at the 
age of seventeen, emigrated to this country, spending eleven 


weeks on the ocean. After having landed in New York he 
proceeded to Chicago, where he met the well-known Swed- 
ish pioneer Rev. G. Unonius, who advised him to go to the 
Episcopal seminary, at Nashota, Wis., and there prepare to 
enter the Episcopalian ministry. But Norelius was too 
much of a Lutheran to even dream of any such thing. He 
concluded, in his perplexity as to what to do and where to 
go, to seek the advice of the j)ioneer of the Swedish-Amer- 
ican Lutheran ministers, Prof. L. P. Esbjorn, with whom 
he was not personally acquainted; but he knew that 
Esbjorn had come to America the year before and settled at 
Andover, Henry county. 111. Believing that Esbjorn was 
the right person to give the best advice, Norelius set out 
from Chicago to hunt him up, going by canal a hundred 
miles to La Salle, and footing the rest of the road for some 
sixty miles to Andover. Here he found Esbjorn living 
among his countrymen in a primitive way, in great poverty 
and sickness; but he received Norehus kindly, and advised 
him to enter Capital University, Columbus, Ohio, where 
support had been offered to a poor Swedish student who 
w^ould prepare for the Lutheran ministry. The famous 
Jenny Lind had also given $1,500 to the school in order that 
a Swedish professorship might be established there. Esbjorn 
Accompanied Norelius to this institution in the spring of 
1851, w^here the latter spent about five years. For defray- 
ing the expenses of the journey from Illinois to Ohio, and 
for some clothing. Dr. Passavant, of Pittsburg, Pa., sent 
Norelius tw^enty-two dollars. His vacations were spent in 
various w^ays: for example, working on farms, chopping 
wood, selling books, teaching, and preaching. During his 


last Yacation he preaclied and taught school at Chisago 
Lake, Minn.; previously to this he had done the same thing in 
Chicago. In 1855 the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of 
Northern Illinois licensed him to preach for the Swedes in 
several places in Tippecanoe county, Ind.; but these people 
had recently arrived frora the old country, and -were too 
poor to buy the expensive land in the Eastern states, there- 
fore no permanent Swedish settlement in this part of the 
country w^as to be expected. Norelius and another gentle- 
man were delegated to go to Minnesota in search of a suit- 
able place for a settlement; they came to Vasa, Goodhue 
county, Minn., in 1855 — where Col. H. Mattson and his 
party had already a couple of years before commenced a 
prosperous Swedish settlement — and Norelius at once organ- 
ized churches in Red Wing and Vasa, of which he became 
pastor the following year, w^hen he w^as ordained. He had 
to suffer all the inconveniences and trials of a pioneer life; 
many settlements were founded and churches organized; he 
had to spend his time more as a traveling missionary than 
as a settled pastor. In 1858 he w^as elected county auditor 
of Goodhue county, but at the same time received an offer 
to become editor of Heznlandet, in Chicago, which he 
accepted, resigned his pastoral duties, and proceeded to 
Chicago. In 1859 Norelius, on account of ill health, 
moved to Attica, Ind., and he took charge of the Swed- 
ish Lutheran church there, but the following year accepted 
a call as a traveling missionary in Minnesota. During this 
time he passed through many thrilling events, experienced 
many perils and self-denials, visited — on foot or on horse- 
back — every nook and corner where any Swedes had settled. 


preached and organized churches in many places. He has 
undoubtedly sacrificed more in order to elevate his country- 
men in Minnesota, and has benefited them more than any 
other Swede. His salary amounted to about $400 a year, 
out of which he had to pay all his traveling expenses, and 
at the end of the year he might have saved souls, but 
nothing of his salary remained. In 1861 he moved from 
St. Paul, where his family had resided for a year, to Good 
hue county, and took charge of his old congregations in 
Red Wing and at Vasa. Ever since his ministerial labor 
has been chiefly confined to Goodhue county, although he 
has done some missionary work on the Pacific Coast and in 
various other parts of the country. His health has been 
dehcate during the greater part of his ministry. Besides 
his regular work in the ministry, he founded an orphanage 
at Vasa in 1865, and conducted it himself for eleven years. 
In 1862 he commenced a private school in Red Wing, which 
has grown up to be Gustavus Adolphus College, in St. 
Peter. Norelius was in 1874 elected president of the 
Augustana Synod, serving in that capacity for seven years, 
and w^as elected to the same position in 1899. (Most of 
the above facts in this biography have been collected from 
Axnerican Lutheran Biographies, by Rev. J. C. Jensson). 
At Red Wing, in 1857, he commenced to publish Minnesota 
Posten, the first Swedish newspaper in Minnesota; the 
venture was too early, and proved to be a financial failure, 
and after one year's starveling existence, the paper was 
united with Hemlandet in Chicago, of which Norelius, as 
before stated, became editor. It may be of interest to 
note that the first six numbers of Minnesota Posten con- 


tained the following notice: "Because ready cash in these 
times is scarce, the editor will, for the subscription for the 
paper, take farm and other products, w^hich will be valued 
at market prices," and the last number announces that "the 
paper must cease, because many subscribers failed to send 
in their subscriptions." In 1872 he started Lutersk 
Kyrkotidning, which was merged into Augustana the 
following year. Norelius and P. Sjoblom commenced to 
publish Erangelisk Lutersk Tidskrift in 1877, but 
changed the name to Skaffaren the following year. He 
has also contributed extensively, especially on religious and 
historical subjects, to many Swedish-American journals. 
In 1889 he w^as called to the editorial chair of Augustana, 
the official paper of the Augustana Synod, published at 
Rock Island, 111., but his ill health compelled him to resign the 
following year. He has for a number of years been editor 
of Korsbaneret, which is an annual published by the 
Augustana Synod. Norelius is the author of the following 
books: Salems Sknger (1859), Handbok for Son- 
dagsskolan (1865), Ev. Laterska Augustana Sjynoden 
i Nord Amerika ocb dess Mission (1870), and Be 
Svenska Luterska Forsamlingarnas och Svenskarnes 
Historia i Amerika (1890). Only the first volume of the 
last mentioned work, which deals with the Swedes in Amer- 
ica from the earliest emigration of the nineteenth century 
to 1860, has yet appeared. His history is intensely 
Lutheran, somewhat partial, poorly classified, and not 
indexed. The author relates his experiences and the experi- 
ences of others very minutely, without much attempt to 
condense the whole to a scientific historical treaty. The 


facts on the whole are fairly correct, except in regard to 
the first Swedish settlement in Minnesota, w^hich was not 
stated in 1851, as he asserts, but in 1850, when Oscar Roos 
and two other Swedes made the first settlement at Marine, 
Washington county, which is substantiated both by Roos 
himself and in a little excellent pamphlet, Srenskarne i 
St. Czoijc-dalen, Minnesota (1879), by Robert Gron- 
berger.* Norelius's description of the natural appearance of 
the country in the early days is excellent, but in many 
respects his earlier and smaller history is superior to his 
later and larger book. All his writings contain a great 
deal of wit, humor, and imagination. Col. H. Mattson, in 
his admirable book, Minnen (1890), refers to Norelius in 
the following manner: "In the beginning of the month 
of September, 1855, Rev. E. Norelius visited the settlement 
(Vasa), and organized a Lutheran church. Thirty-five 
years have elapsed since that time, and many of those who 
belonged to the first church at Vasa now rest in mother 
earth close by the present stately church edifice which still 
belongs to the same congregation and is situated only a 
short distance from the place where the latter was organ- 

* In regard to this sentence, which was also in the first edition of this volume, Nore- 
lius remarks: "It depends upon what you mean by the word 'settlement.' If it can be 
called a settlement where two or three single men, bachelors, make a claim without 
making such claim a constant habitation, then of course I do not dispute the priority 
of the Marine colony. But if by a settlement is meant a permanent habitation, espe- 
cially by one or more families, then the Swedish colony at Marine is not older than the 
one at Chisago Lake." As I understand it, a settlement may be permanent or tempo- 
rary, and may be composed of families, bachelors, or old maids. The early arrival in 
this state of Oscar Roos and bis companions has been mentioned in a few places in this 
volume simply because it was deemed to be of considerable historical importance, and 
not as a reflection upon Norelius for having failed to refer to those pioneers. The con- 
stant reference to this omission on my part is a mistake which can hardly be avoided in 
a cyclopedic work like this, and I prefer the repetition of important histerical facts 
to the omission of those facts.— Bditob. 


ized. Rev. Norelius himself lives only a few hundred yards 
from the church building. Thirty-five years have changed 
the then cheerful, hopeful young man into a veteran, 
crowned with honor, and full of wisdom and experience. 
His beneficent influence on the Swedes of Goodhue county 
and of the w^hole Northwest will make his name dear to 
coming generations of our people." Norelius visited his 
native land in 1868 for the purpose of improving his health, 
but returned in a worse condition. In 1855 he was married 
to Inga C. Peterson, of West Point, Ind., by whom he has 
had four sons and one daughter. 

Oftedal, Sven, educator — Minneapolis— bom 22 March, 
1844, in Stavanger, Norway. He graduated from the Latin 
school of his native city in 1862; completed his theological 
studies at the University of Norway in 1871, having also 
devoted much of his time to the study of ancient and modem 
languages, literature, and philosophy; studied one year in 
Paris, France; traveled through several of the European 
countries; and accepted a call as theological professor at 
Augsburg Seminary, Minneapolis, in 1873, where he has 
since remained. The great success of the seminary is largely 
due to Oftedal's energy and perseverance. In 1878 he was 
elected a member of the board of education, a position he 
held for ten years, being president of that body for four 
years; and in 1886, when the Minneapolis Public Library 
was established, he was elected by the legislature as one of 
the chartered members of that library, and has been chair- 
man of the library committee ever since. In these two capa- 
cities he has been able to do more than any other person to 
have the Scandinavians in the city recognized by the public 



I'. A. ItlCIO, WILr,MAU. 

PR. G. r. SA\rii;i:i;c;. ST. PAir,. 



at large. He was the originator of the present high school 
system in Minneapohs and the branch system of the Minne- 
apoUs Public Library. Oftedal has taken an active part in 
temperance and church work, being one of the organizers oft 
the first stable Norwegian temperance society in Minne- 
apolis, and was for years one of the leading men in the Nor- 
wegian-Danish Conference. Oftedal occupies a unique posi- 
tion in the history of the Norwegian Lutheran churches in 
America. Most of the leaders in those churches have at one 
time or another been engaged in controversies bristling with 
harsh words. But he alone has time again been in the 
midst of the fiercest of these battles. Indeed, he has spent 
years in a perfect calm; but again and again the storm has 
gathered around that man as around no other Norwegian- 
American. At some future date he may possibly be taken 
as the ablest and grandest expounder of that remarkable 
hatred of conventional restraint which characterized the 
Norsemen of his time. Even at close range it is not very 
difficult to see that Oftedal could have spent a life of ease 
and unruffled honor if he had chosen to devote his magni- 
ficent mental gifts to the upbuilding of the existing institu- 
tions of the majorities, instead of repeatedly siding with 
apparently hopeless minorities. His is surely a mind that 
rebels against power as such; but it aims rather at the 
destruction of w^hat is conceived as baneful influences than 
at self-aggrandizement; bitter as it may be at times, it is, 
after all, more altrustic than egotistic. Oftedal cannot be 
properly judged until some time after his life-work is com- 
pleted. He is married, and has grown children. 

Olson, C. 0. Alexius, lawyer and legislator — Minne- 


apolis— born 5 April, 1872, in Long, Yestergotland, Sweden. 
At the age of two years he emigrated with his mother to 
America, coming directly to Minneapolis, where later he 
attended the public schools, graduating from the North 
Side High School in 1891; employed his out-of-school hours 
as carrier on the daily papers, and as clerk in stores and 
offices; graduated from the academic department of the 
University of Minnesota in 1895, from the law department 
in 1896, and in 1897 received the degree of LL.M. from the 
same institution; was admitted to the bar by the Minnesota 
supreme court in June, 1896, and has since been engaged in 
the general practice of law; at the University was actively 
interested in student affairs, serving successively as class 
president, editor of The Ariel (the students' paper), and 
as cadet major of the University Battalion; is a member of 
the general college fraternity Zeta Psi, and of Delta Chi 
(Law); in 1892 traveled in Europe, visiting Germany, Den- 
mark, Sweden, Norway, and England; during the summer of 
1893 was employed at the Chicago World's Fair; is presi- 
dent of the Minneapolis High School Alumni Association, 
and secretary of the John Ericsson Memorial Association; 
in religion a Lutheran; in politics a Republican; at the gen- 
eral election in 1898 was elected to the office of representa- 
tive in the Minnesota state legislature. 

Olson, Seaver Elbert, merchant — Minneapolis — born 
1846, in Ringsaker, near Hamar, Norway. His boyhood 
was spent partly in assisting his father in his profession as 
carpenter, partly at school. From early childhood he 
showed himself to possess singular abilities. Already at the 
age of ten he became a teacher and conducted his own little 


scliool. Olson came with his parents to this country in 
1858, and they settled on a farm near La Crosse, Wis. He 
attended Beloit College, Wis., for one year; commenced 
business for himself in Rushford, Minn., in 1867, but the 
entire stock was destroyed by fire in less than a month 
after he started. He rebuilt the store and for about three 
years had a good trade; then entered into partnership with 
his former employer in La Crosse, Wis.; but three years 
later the firm was dissolved, and Olson continued in the 
business until 1878, when he came to Minneapolis, Minn. 
Here he united himself with N. B. Harwood. They failed 
in 1880, and Olson was again made penniless, with nothing 
but an unimpeachable credit and an excellent record as a 
business man. He next went into partnership with Ingram. 
This firm was afterwards changed to S. E. Olson & Com- 
pany, now being one of the largest dry goods establish- 
ments in the West, and perhaps the greatest Scandinavian 
store in the United States, doing an annual business of 
about $2,000,000. Olson is a stockholder of several banks, 
is also connected with many other large enterprises, and 
has a family. 

Ustrom, 0. N., banker and grain dealer— Minneapolis- 
born 29 July, 1850, in Aby, near Kristianstad, Sweden; 
died 1893. He emigrated to America in 1867, staid the first 
year at Afton, Minn., then went to St. Peter. Being a 
builder and contractor, he erected here, among other build- 
ings, Gustavus Adolphus College. Ostrom moved to Minne- 
apolis in 1877, and two years later he engaged in the gener- 
al merchandise and wheat business at Evansville; this large 
wheat trade compelled him subsequently to build twenty- 


five elevators along the Great Northern R. R. In 1882 
Ostrom became one of the stockholders and directors of the 
First National Bank of Alexandria; the following year he 
estabHshed the Bank of Evansville, of which he assumed the 
management as cashier.. Ostrom returned to Minneapolis 
in 1887, and, in company with other prominent Swedes, or- 
ganized the Swedish American Bank, with a capital of one 
hundred thousand dollars. In 1889 he organized the Inter- 
State Grain company — a half million dollars' concern. 
Ostrom was president and manager of the Inter-State Grain 
company, and president of the Swedish American Bank. At 
the age of twenty he was married to Helena Elg; they have 
grown children. 

Ostlund, 0. W., educator— Minneapolis— bom 27 Sept., 
1857, in Attica, Ind. His parents were among the earliest 
Swedish immigrants in this country; they came from Oster- 
gotland. Young Ostlund graduated from Augustana Col- 
lege in 1879, and eight years later his alma mater conferred 
the degree of master of arts upon him. He studied natural 
sciences for two years at the University of Minnesota; has 
been entomologist of the natural history survey of Minne- 
sota since 1884, having published numerous reports on his 
specialty, and contributes occasionally to some of the lead- 
ing magazines on scientific subjects. Since 1890 he has 
been assistant professor of zoology at the State University; 
was entomologist of the State Horticultural Society from 
1887-90; is a member of the Davenport Academy of Sciences, 
and of the Minneapolis Academy of Science. Ostlund is an 
active member of the English Lutheran church, having been 
one of its trustees for several years. He is unmarried. 


Pederson, Knud, legislator— _Under wood — born 1844, 
in Norway. He came to this state in 1868, and has 
been engaged in farming in Otter Tail county. He served 
as town supervisor, treasurer, and assessor for six 
years, and as county commissioner for thirteen years. Since 
1896 he has been a member of the house of representatives 
of the state' legislature. Pederson owes the position last 
mentioned to the Populist party. He is a widower. 

PeteFsen, Ole P., clergyman and pioneer — Minneapolis 
—bom 28 April, 1822, in Fredrikstad, Norway. He became 
an orphan at the age of six, was brought up by a well-to-do 
family, was a sailor for a few years, and emigrated to this 
country in 1843. He was converted to Methodism by the 
well-known Swedish pioneer and missionary, 0. G. Hed- 
strom, in 1846; returned to his native land three years later, 
and w^as the first who introduced the faith of Methodism 
in Norway; came back to America in 1850, and the next 
year commenced to preach among his countrymen in Winne- 
sheik county, low^a. With the exception of C. B. Willerup, 
a Dane, Petersen w^as the first Methodist minister among 
the Norwegian pioneers in this country. He often had to 
travel on foot during the hot summers and cold winters 
through the Western states, suffering all the hardships 
incidental to frontier life. In 1850 he was married in Nor- 
way to Anne Amundsen. They had two children, and for 
some years past he has been living with one of them in 
the East. 

Petersen, W. M. H., clergyman and educator — St. Paul 
—born 26 Nov., 1854, in Ringerike, Norway; died 1899. He 
came to this country in 1862, settling with his widowed 


mother in Rochester, Minn.; stayed for sometime at Pointed 
Creek, Iowa; completed courses at Luther College and at 
Concordia Seminary, graduating from these institutions in 
1875 and 1878, respectively. During the remainder of his 
life he served a Norwegian Synod congregation in St. Paul. 
Having a strong memory and being an untiring student, he 
gradually accumulated a great amount of w^ell-digested and 
carefully systematized knowledge. He w^as a great specia- 
list. In order to make proper use of this valuable treasure 
he was appointed, in 1894, to a chair of theology in Luther 
Seminary. But his health began to fail, and in 1898 he 
made a trip to Europe in hopes of gaining strength. Peter- 
sen prepared his sermons with great care, and some of them 
have been preserved in the collection printed by the synod. 
He wrote considerably for the oiiicial paper of the synod, 
and his most noted effort as an author treats of the inspira- 
tion of the Bible. He was married to Anna K. Soraas, of 
Dodge county, Minn., in 1880; they had six children. 

Peterson, Andrew P , state legislator— Cokato— bom 7 
Sept., 1851, in Sweden. At the age of nine he came with his 
parents to this country; they settled in Carver county, Minn., 
where young Peterson received a good common school 
education. He was in the mercantile business in Cokato for 
a few years, and has since 1880 been the proprietor of a 
drug store. Peterson has held various local offices, been 
county commissioner of Wright county, and represented his 
district in the state legislature in 1877. In 1878 he was 
married to Anna S. Anderson, of Minneapolis. They have _ 

Peterson, Frank, clergyman— Minneapolis — born 19 


Nov., 1847, in Stockseryd, Ostergotland, Sweden. At the 
age of four he came with his parents to this country; they 
settled in Rock Island, 111., and moved to Lansing, Iowa, in 
1855, where young Peterson received a good common school 
education. In 1863, while not yet sixteen years old, he en- 
listed in the Ninth Iowa Cavalry, which was almost con- 
stantly engaged in fighting the Texas Rangers and Quan- 
treU's Band in Missouri, Texas, and Arkansas. So depleted 
were the ranks of his regiment, that but few remained after 
the war to return home. After the war he studied one year 
at a university in Chicago; took a trip to Sweden, in order 
to improve his health, where he spent a year; taught in the 
public schools in Iowa and Minnesota for several years; and 
intended to study law, when he finally concluded to enter 
the ministry, and accepted a call of the Swedish Baptist 
church in Worthington, Minn., in 1875. After having re- 
mained there for a w^hile, he took charge of a congregation 
in Chicago; came to Minneapolis in 1881, and for eleven 
years served the First Swedish Baptist church, which had 
a great prosperity during his ministry. In 1890 he accepted 
the appointment as district secretary of the American Bap- 
tist Missionary Union, which is one of the strongest mis- 
sionary societies among Protestants, either in America or 
on the continent, employing 2,500 workers, scattered 
throughout twenty nations of the world. This society 
expends over a million dollars annually. Peterson was a 
successful teacher, is an able speaker both in Swedish and 
English, and has collected a great deal of material for a his- 
tory of the Swedish Baptist church. In 1878 he was 
married to Emma C- Johnson, of Chicago. 


Peterson, James A., lawyer — Minneapolis — bom 18 
Jan., 1859, in Dodge county. Wis. His parents were Nor- 
wegians. He graduated from the literary department of the 
University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wis., in 1884, and three 
years later from the law school of the same institution, 
having made his own way through college by teaching 
school. Since he completed his education he has been prac- 
ticing his profession in Minneapolis, being recognized as one 
of the leading Scandinavian attorneys in the state of Min- 
nesota. In 1893 Peterson was appointed assistant county 
attorney, and in 1897 and 1898 he served as county 
attorney. While occupying this position he became a terror 
to evil-doers; and the ability with which he prosecuted some 
public officers belonging to his own political party is claimed 
to have had something to do w^ith his failure to receive the 
renomination for a second term which had, become tradi- 
tional in that party with regard to certain county officers. 
Peterson is a Republican. In 1889 Marie Emily Dahle, of 
Dane county, Wis., who is a graduate of the University of 
Wisconsin, and was a classmate of Peterson, became his 
wife. They have children. 

Peterson, John, collector of customs— St. Peter— bom 
6 July, 1841, in Kil, Vermland, Sweden. His parents were 
farmers, who gave their son a good common school educa- 
tion, and at the age of seventeen he commenced to work in 
a large factory. Later on he held the position of shipping 
clerk; was engaged in building at Stockholm and Sundsvall 
for some time and in constructing railroad stations and 
bridges during a couple of years; and in 1867-9 was located 
near Karlstad as superintendent of the construction of 




gOYemment railroad bridges. In 1869 he emigrated to 
America, coming directly to St. Peter, and after having 
worked as a common laborer for a short time, he began, in 
company with others, operations as a railroad contractor, 
and for eighteeen years the firm of which he was a member 
carried on a large business throughout the Northwest. 
Since he has followed the same occupation on his own 
responsibility, and has also been interested in bank- 
ing and farming. Peterson has taken an active part in 
public affairs. He has been a member of the city council of 
St. Peter, serving as its president for a couple of years; was 
a member of the congressional committee of his district for 
several years; has been a delegate to numerous Republican 
conventions; w^as elected to the state senate in 1894; and 
in 1897 President McKinley appointed him collector of 
customs. He has also been a member of the board of 
trustees of the State Hospital for the Insane, having been 
appointed by Gov. Merriam and Gov. Nelson, and was a 
member of the board of directors and treasurer of Gus- 
tavus Adolphus College for several years. Peterson is 
a member of the Swedish Lutheran church; and was mar- 
ried in 1873 to Fredrika Elisabeth Lundberg. They have 
several children. 

Peterson, J. W., state senator— Vasa— bom 30 Mar., 
1838, in SmMand, Sweden. At the age of eighteen he came 
with his parents to this country; they settled in Chisago 
county, Minn., where young Peterson worked on the family 
homestead until 1862, when he enlisted in company I of 
Sixth Minnesota Volunteers. He served against the 
Indians in Minnesota and Dakota; was promoted to the 


rank of sergeant; honorably discharged in 1865, and has 
ever since farmed at Vasa. Peterson was in the state 
senate during the sessions of 1873-74, in the lower branch 
of the legislature in 1885, and again in the senate in 1891- 
93; besides, he has held several local offices. The general 
opinion is that he is one of the most influential Scandina- 
vian legislators of Minnesota. Peterson is a Republican 
and a Lutheran, and was married in 1868 to Carrie John- 
son, who is twelve years his junior. 

Pettersen, Wilhelm MauFitz, educator and poet— Min- 
neapolis — bom 17 Dec, 1860, in Mandal, Kristiansand 
stift, Norway. His father was a sea captain of German 
extraction, his mother belonged to the old Norwegian 
farmer stock. After having graduated from Mandal's 
xniddelskole, he, at the age of fifteen, went to sea; passed 
a first mate's examination; sailed as second mate, both on 
Norwegian and American vessels; and came to Minneapolis 
in 1882. Two years after his arrival he graduated from 
Augsburg Seminary, Minneapolis; afterwards studied Greek 
and English literature for a couple of terms at the Uni- 
versity of Minnesota; and was appointed professor of 
history and mathematics of his alma mater in 1889. 
Pettersen is a poet of considerable repute, having inherited 
a poetical taste and ability from his mother, who wrote 
verses occasionally; a volume of his collected Nor- 
wegian poems w^as published in 1891; and a drama, En Nj' 
Sl'Agt, appeared in 1895. It is generally admitted that 
Pettersen has written some excellent poetical productions. 
He has also considerable experience as a journalist, but his 
prose writings lack clearness and generalization. He is a 


member of the Norwegian Lutheran Free Church, is a 
Democrat, has delivered campaign speeches throughout the 
state, and has a family. 

Petri, Carl J., clergyman — Minneapolis — ^bom 16 June, 
1855, in Rockford, 111. His parents came from SmMand, 
Sweden, to this country in 1852. They settled in Chicago, 
111., but moved to Rockford two years later, where they 
have resided ever since. Petri received his early education 
in the parochial and public schools in Rockford. In 1871 
he entered Augustana College, Paxton, 111., from w^hich insti- 
tution he was graduated in 1877, being therefore a member 
of the first class sent out from this institution, and has 
since received the degree of A. M. of his alma mater. He 
took special interest in languages and history, in which 
subjects he had the best standing in the college. Petri pur- 
sued the study of the English language with a view to 
become an educator in this branch, and when he came to 
Minneapolis in 1878, the board of directors of Augustana 
College advised him to continue his study of English with a 
view to teach it in that institution. He studied English 
and Anglo-Saxon at the University of Minnesota for one 
year; then went to Philadelphia, where he took charge of a 
Swedish Lutheran congregation; and attended for one year 
the University of Pennsylvania, taking a special course in 
history and English, also attending Dr. Krauth's lectures 
on philosophy. In 1880 he consented to be ordained. He 
remained in Philadelphia until 1884, when he became pro- 
fessor of history at Gustavus Adolphus College, in which 
capacity he made an excellent record. In 1888 Petri 
accepted a call as pastor of the largest Swedish Lutheran 


congregation in Minneapolis, where he has since resided. 
He was the originator and one of the chief leaders in the 
arrangement for the great celebration, ia Minneapolis, in 
1888, of the 250th anniversary of the landing of the 
Swedes in America in the 17th century. In 1893 he was 
one of the chief organizers of the celebration of the 300th 
anniversary of the Upsala Decree, being also the first one 
who translated said decree into Enghsh. Petri has been 
vice-president of the Minnesota Conference of the Swedish 
Augustana Synod for several years, and a member of the 
board of directors of Gustavus Adolphus College. In 1881 
he, with others, started the Augustana Observer, the first 
English church paper among the Swedes in America. He 
has also been editor of an English Sunday-school paper 
belonging to the church. He was a member of the advisory 
council of the religious congress at the World's Fair in 
Chicago, in 1893; is a member of the Institute of Civics, 
and took a very active part in starting the Swedish hospital 
in Minneapolis, in 1898. Petri is a good speaker in both 
Swedish and English, and as an organizer and manager of 
church and social affairs, there are few of the miaisters 
within the Augustana Synod that equal him. He was 
married in 1880 to Christine Andersson, of Dalame, Sweden; 
the w^edding ceremony being performed in the historical Old 
Swedes' Church, Philadelphia, Pa. They have several 

Petri, Gustave A., lawyer— Minneapolis— bom 21 Sept., 
1863, in Rockford, 111. His parents came from Smiland, 
Sweden, to Chicago in 1852, and moved to Rockford two 
years later, where they have resided ever since. He is a 


brother to Rev. C. J. Petri. He studied at Gustavus Adol- 
phus College, St. Peter, Mian., for a few years; then entered 
the University of Minnesota, Minneapohs, graduating from 
the classical department of this institution in 1890, with 
the degree of A. B., and from the law department three 
years later, with the degree of LL. B. The year of 1891 he 
spent on the Pacific Coast, studying law most of the time 
at Seattle, Wash., in the office of Judge Green, ex-chief 
justice of the state of Washington. After having completed 
his legal education, he has successfully practiced his pro- 
fession in Minneapolis, having won several important cases 
in the supreme court of the state. Petri is a member of the 
Swedish Lutheran Church, having taken active part in 
church and Sunday-school work. Although not a pro- 
fessional politician, he has always taken an active interest 
in politics, having always affiliated with the Republican 
party. In 1894 he was married to Ida M. Peterson, of 
Grove City, Minn., who had formerly attended Gustavus 
Adolphus College for several years, and studied music at the 
Royal Conservatory in Stockholm, Sweden, for two years; 
they have children. 

Railson, Andrew, state senator— Norway Lake— bom 
16 Aug., 1833, in Sigdal, Kristiania stift, Norway. He emi- 
grated to this country at the age of seventeen; worked in 
the pineries and at other common labor in Green county, 
Wis. for about five years; visited his native country, and 
on his return located in Stillwater, Minn., working in the 
saw mills for a couple of years; then took a claim in 
Kandiyohi county, being one of the earliest settlers in this 
part of the country. At the time of the terrible Sioux 


Indian outbreak, in 1862, Andrew and his brother Even 
were among the bravest defenders of life and property; but 
nevertheless they were driven away from their homes by 
the fierce Redskins, and did not return until 1865. He has 
been county treasurer of Kandiyohi county for five years; 
was receiver of the U. S. land office at Redwood Falls from 
1884^87; represented his district in the state legislature in 
1871; served in the state senate during the sessions of 1872- 
73, and has held various local offices. Andrew Railson, 
Jonas Lindall of Chisago county, and Ole Peterson of Pope 
county w^ere the first Scandinavians who -were elected state 
senators in Minnesota; but many other Northmen, how^- 
ever, had served in the lower branch of the legislature ever 
since the state constitution w^as adopted, in 1857. Railson 
was again elected to the state legislature in 1892. In 1860 
he was married to Bertha Johnson. They have children. 

Rast, Gustaf, clergyman — Red Wing — born 13 July, 
1857, in Fristad, Yestergotland, Sweden. He emigrated to 
the U. S. in 1873, after having received a common school 
education in Sweden; attended the literary department of 
Augustana College for four years; and graduated from the 
theological department of this institution in 1884. For 
nearly three years he had charge of the Swedish Lutheran 
church at Stockholm, Wis., and has since 1887 been pastor 
in Red Wing. He has been secretary, vice-president, and 
treasurer of the Minnesota Conference of the Augustana 
Synod; served six years on the board of directors of Gus- 
tavus Adolphus College, and has held the offices of secretary 
and president of said board; has during the biggest part of 
his ministry served in the executive committee of the con- 


ference, and always taken an active part in the educational 
and missionary work of his church. In 1884 he w^as mar- 
ried to Hann a Anderson, of Princeton, 111. They have several 

Beimestad, Theodor S., educator — Minneapolis — bom 
28 Apr., 1858, at Jaderen, Norway. He received a high 
school education in his native land; emigrated with his par- 
ents to this country in 1872, coming directly to Iowa, 
where he attended the graded school at Ackley; continued 
his studies at Augsburg Seminary, Minneapolis, graduating, 
in 1880, from the college department, and in 1883 from the 
theological department; was pastor of churches in Dane and 
Green counties. Wis., for two years; and in 1885 settled 
down to his life-work, accepting a position as professor at 
his alma mater, his chief subjects being the history of Nor- 
wegian and Danish literature and Latin. Reimestad has 
for years taken great interest in temperance work, having 
lectured very extensively on total abstinence and prohibition 
in the Northwest as well as written considerably on the 
same subjects. He is also one of the most widely known 
Scandinavian tenor singers in America, and is instructor in 
vocal music at the seminary. He was the originator and 
organizer of the Norwegian Lutheran Singers' Union, being 
its first president and later on its director-in-chief. He has 
published Kampznelodier, a.collection of temperance songs 
and, in company w^ith Rev. M. F. Gjertsen, Sangbogen, a 
huge collection of religious songs, including some of Reime- 
stad's best efforts as composer and writer of songs. In 
1888 he organized the Augsburg Quartette, which devoted 
four seasons to the cause of total abstinence and prohibi- 


tion, traveling through several northwestern states; for 
years was president, and in 1895 secretary, of the Minnesota 
Total Abstinence Association; and. has been president of the 
Total Abstinence Congress since it was organized. In 1888 
the Prohibitionists nominated him for lieutenant-governor. 
Reimestad has made two noted trips to Norway. In 1895 
he w^ent there upon invitation and gave a series of success- 
ful temperance concerts in the cities; and in 1898 he, in com- 
pany with Rev. Gjertsen, spent most of the summer in sing- 
ing and preaching to large audiences in all the large cities 
and most of the principal towns. 

Rice, Albert E., lieutenant-governor — Willmar — born 
1847, in Vinje, Kristiansand stift, Norway. He received a 
common school education in his native country, emigrated 
to the U. S. in 1860, and settled in "Wisconsin. At the out- 
break of the Civil War he enlisted in the famous Fifteenth 
Wisconsin Regiment of Volunteers, better known as the 
Scandinavian Regiment; was w^ounded in his left hand at 
the battle of New Hope Church; settled in Minneapolis after 
the war; but moved to Willmar in 1870, to engage in gen- 
eral merchandise; and has later also become interested in 
banking. Rice represented a Minneapolis district in the 
state legislature in 1870, served in the state senate during 
the sessions of 1874-75 and 1878-85, and was lieutenant- 
governor from 1887—91. Rice was a delegate to the con- 
vention in Philadelphia, which nominated Grant for presi- 
dent in 1872, and was appointed a member of the board of 
regents of the University of Minnesota in 1897. His long 
and honorable legislative career has largely been devoted to 
measures opposing railroad and elevator monopolies, for 





the protection of the fanners against the ravages of the 
grasshoppers, and for the taxation of telegraph and tele- 
phone companies. As a parliamentarian, Rice has few, if 
any, equals in the state. He is a Republican. Rice is mar- 
ried to a Swedish lady, who possesses considerable literary 
ability. Their son, Cushman A. Rice, was bom in Willmar 
March 15, 1878. He graduated from Willmar high school at 
the age of sixteen; entered the State University one year 
later; enlisted as first lieutenant in company D of Fifteenth 
Minnesota Volunteers at the outbreak of the Spanish War 
in 1898; was mustered out with his regiment in the spring 
of 1899; and shortly after President McKinley appointed 
him first lieutenant, assigning him to the Thirty-fourth 
U. S. Infantry. Since he has been promoted captain of com- 
pany M, of the above mentioned regiment, and served in the 
Philippine Islands since the fall of 1899. Rice is probably 
the only Scandinavian-American who ever held the high 
rank of captaincy at the early age of twenty-one. 

Kingnell, Carl John, physician and surgeon — Minne- 
apolis — ^born 3 June, 1864, in Yissefjerda, SmMand, Sweden. 
After having attended school for five years, he, at the age of 
eighteen, emigrated to this country; attended Gustavus 
Adolphus College, St. Peter, Minn., for three years, and 
graduated from the medical department of the University of 
Minnesota in 1891; has also been studying at the principal 
hospitals in Europe. Ringnell has gained the confidence of 
the people and has a very large practice; has been appointed 
attending physician at the Free Dispensary, which is a part 
of the University of Minnesota, and the Nurses' Training 
School; is a member of the Minnesota Medical Society, and 



of the American Medical Association. In 1896 he took a 
post graduate course at Tulane University, New Orleans, 
La., and has traveled extensively in Mexico and Central 
America. In 1891 he was married to Carrie Morris Wilkins, 
of New York City, she being a grand niece of Gov. Morris, 
w^ho was one of the signers of the Declaration of Indepen- 
dence. They have one daughter. 

Roos, Oscar, pioneer and county official — Taylor's Falls 
— ^bom 1827, in Skara, Sweden; died 1896. He crossed the 
Atlantic ocean in 1850, being therefore one of the earliest 
Swedish emigrants in this country. He lived the first sum- 
mer at Rock Island, 111. In October, 1850, he, together 
with two other Swedes, and upon the advice of the well- 
known Rev. Unonius, moved to Minnesota and took a 
claim where Marine, Washington county, is now located. 
This was the first Scandinavian settlement in the state. 
After having resided at Marine and worked in the pineries 
for ten years, Roos in 1860 moved to Taylor's Falls. He 
was register of deeds of Chisago county from 1860-70, 
receiver of the U. S. land office from 1870-75, and county 
treasurer from 1875-83. He has always taken an active 
part in public affairs and been deeply interested in every- 
thing pertaining to the welfare of Chisago count j, in which 
he was the first Scandinavian who held an office, as well as 
the first Scandinavian settler. Roos was married to Hanna 
Swanstrom in 1870. 

Rosing*, August G., secretary of the Minnesota Scandina- 
vian Relief Association of Red Wing — Red Wing — bom 1 Sept. , 
1822, in Ljungby, Yestergotland, Sweden. He received a 
good education in his native land, was bookkeeper in a gov- 


emment ofl&ce in Stockholm from 1844-48, then followed the 
same profession in Sk^ne, until he emigrated to America in 
1868. He came directly to Goodhue county, Minn., wherehe 
rented a farm, and farmed until he accepted his present posi- 
tion in 1888. He has been county commissioner for several 
years, and has held various local offices. Rosing was mar- 
ried in 1851. He has children. 

Rosing', L. A., chairman of the state central committee 
of the Democratic party — Cannon Falls— bom 29 Aug., 
1861, in Malmo, Sweden. He is the son of A. G. Rosing, in 
Red Wing; came with his mother to this country in 1869; 
received a common school education in Goodhue county; 
worked on his father's farm until the age of twenty; then 
clerked in stores in Cannon Falls; and since 1888 has been 
conducting a shoe store of his own in that city. In the 
campaign of 1890 he began to take an activepart in politics, 
and in the course of the next ten years he distinguished him- 
self as a very able organizer, holding different positions in 
the Democratic organization; among which may be men- 
tioned that of member of the congressional committee in 
1892, candidate for state senator in 1894, and chairman of 
the state central committee since 1896. He conducted the 
campaigns of 1896 and 1898 with great ability, and it was 
largely through his masterly management that the Fusion 
forces succeeded in electing John Lind as governor in 1898, 
the first anti-Republican governor in the state of Minnesota 
for forty years. Gov. Lind appointed him his private secre- 
tary in 1899. Rosing was married to May B. Season, an 
American lady, in 1886. They have children. 

Sandberg, G. P., dentist— St. Paul— bom 17 Feb., 1861, 


at Saltkalla, Vestergotland, Sweden. At the age of twelve 
he came to this country, directly to St. Paul, Minn., to join 
his father, who had emigrated before. He received a common 
school education in his native country, studied dentistry in 
a private office in St, Paul, and has since 1885 successfully 
practiced his profession in that city. For years he has been 
the only Swedish dentist in St. Paul. In 1899 he formed a 
partnership with. Dr. L. R. Hoelzle. They employ several 
assistant dentists. Sandberg belongs to ten different secret 
societies, and has taken the highest degree in Freemasonry. 
He was married in 1888 to Margarete E. Moran, an Ameri- 
can lady. They have children. 

Sandbergr, J. H., botanist and physician — Minneapolis 
— ^bom 24 July, 1846, in Broby, Sk&ne, Sweden. He received 
a college education in Lund, and studied pharmacy in his 
native land; came to this country in 1868; lived in Michigan 
for a while; located in Minneapolis in 1887. Sandberg 
studied medicine in this country, but he is better known as 
a botanist than as a physician, having for a few years been 
employed by the United States as botanical collector on 
the Pacific Coast. He already ranks among the leading 
botanists of the country. Sandberg has discovered several 
new plants, to w^hich he, according to a universal custom 
among scientists, has given his name. He is married, and 
has a married daughter. 

Saugstad, ChFistian, clergyman— Crookston— born 13 
June, 1838, in Ringsakier, Kristiania stift, Norway; died 
1897. In 1850 his father emigrated to the United States 
and settled in Vernon county. Wis.; the following year the 
mother and her two younger children crossed the Atlantic 


to join her husband, leaving young Saugstad, his two 
brothers, and one sister in their native land to take care of 
themselves, but if possible to follow their parents. After 
having lived in Kristiania for three years, he secured an 
opportunity to work his way across the ocean; landed at 
the age of sixteen in Quebec, Canada, and followed the rest 
of the passengers to Milwaukee, Wis., where he, on account 
of being short of funds, was left alone on the pier among 
strangers, with only ten cents in his pocket. But after 
having worked for three months in Milwaukee he was able 
to start on his journey towards his parents, and his mother 
died three days after his arrival. By working on farms in 
the summers and in the pineries during the winters, he soon 
bought a farm of his own; but finally entered Augsburg 
Seminary, Marshall, Wis., and was ordained in 1872. 
Saugstad commenced his first pastoral work in Douglas 
and adjoining counties, Minnesota, having charge of a 
large field, and resided at Holmes City for eight years; then 
moved to Polk county, and settled in Crookston in 1886. 
Until the union of the difiierent Norwegian churches he 
belonged to the Norwegian-Danish Conference, of which he 
was vice-president from 1886-90. In the early nineties he 
established a Norwegian colony in Bella Coola, B. C, where 
he died. In 1893 he published a brief history of Augsburg 
Seminary. He was married twice, and had eleven children. 
Searle,0IafO., emigration agent and banker — Minneapolis 
— ^bom 23 June, 1859, in Fredrikshald, Norway. He came 
to America in 1881. In the fall of the same year he began 
work in the emigration department of the St. Paul, Minne- 
apolis and Manitoba Railway, remaining there till 1883, 


■when together with A. E. Johnson he opened business as 
emigration agent. This firm, known as A. E. Johnson and 
Company, is now doing a very extensive business in the sale 
of passage tickets for the various steamship companies, and 
also in the sale of lands. The firm has offices in New York 
City, Boston, St. Paul, Minneapolis, Duluth, Tacoma, and 
Seattle. Searle is also one of the directors of the Scandina- 
vian American Bank in Tacoma, and vice-president of the 
Scandinavian American Bank in Seattle; owns considerable 
farm lands in central Minnesota and other real property in 
Western cities, notably at Little Falls, Minn. Ever since the 
partnership w^as formed, he has been the manager of the 
Northwestern headquarters of the firm's business, and has 
taken an active part in public and financial matters, espe- 
cially those in which the Scandinavians have been interested. 
He located in Minneapolis in 1898, but in the summer lives 
at Lake Minnetonka, where he owns a fine house and 125 
acres of land on Big Island, being one of the finest places 
on the lake. Searle was married in 1887 to Dagmar John- 
son. They have one child. 

Sbaleen, John, state senator — Lindstrom — bom 15 
Nov., 1835, near Vexio, Sweden. He received a common 
school education in his native country, and has since been 
an extensive reader. His parents and the whole family emi- 
grated to the ¥. S. when he was twenty years of age; they 
settled at Chisago Lake, Minn., where both John Shaken 
and his brother Peter — who died in 1898, and was one 
of the leading men in that part of the country — worked on 
the family homestead until the outbreak of the Civil War, 
when John Shaken enlisted in company I of the Sixth 


Minnesota Volunteer Infantry. For some time lie served 
against tlie Indians on the western frontier of Min- 
nesota; then was on duty in the South, fighting against the 
Confederates at Spanish Fort and at Fort Blakeley in 
Alabama. At the end of the war he returned to his farm; 
was sheriff of Chisago county from 1870-76; represented 
his district in the state senate during 1878-86;and has been 
judge of probate since 1888. He is an independent Republi- 
can and a Lutheran, and one of the first Swedish settlers in the 
state of Minnesota, having passed through the usual hard- 
ships incidental to pioneer life. He is considered to have 
been one of the most influential Scandinavian legislators in 
the state; public economy has been his hobby. He was 
married to Annie S. Stendahl in 1869; they have several 
children, all of whom have received a liberal education. 

Sjoblom, P., clergyman— Fergus Falls — born 17 Mar., 
1834, in Snostorp, HaUand, Sweden. He came to this 
country in 1866; was ordained the same year; had charge of 
a Swedish Lutheran congregation in Indiana for a couple of 
years; settled in Red Wing, Minn., in 1869; and moved to 
Fergus Falls in 1886. Since 1895 he has been located at 
Wakefield, Neb. Sjoblom has been vice-president and secre- 
tary of the Augustana Synod, and served on various legal 
and constitutional committees. He has been the parlia- 
mentarian of the synod, and one of the most influ- 
ential among the Swedish-American Lutheran ministers, 
and has for years been associate editor of Skaffaren. He 
was married in 1855, and has children. 

Skaro, J. G., physician and surgeon — Minneapolis — 
born 10 Jan., 1859, in St. Peter, Minn. He is the son of 


Captain A. K. Skaro, who was born in Hallingdal, Norway, 
4 June, 1829, came to the United States in 1846, and was 
killed at Nashville, Tenn., in 1865. Captain Skaro served 
in the United States army as a private at Fort Snelling from 
1847-52, then settled at St. Peter, and enlisted in the Union 
army in 1862, being one of the few Scandinavians from 
Minnesota who rose to a higher position in the army dur- 
ing the Civil War. Young Skaro received a high school 
education in his native city, graduated from a medical col- 
lege in Keokuk, Iowa, in 1880, studied medicine also in 
Louisville, Ky., inl884-85, and attended the Post Graduate 
Medical College, New York City, in 1890. Skaro has prac- 
ticed his profession in Minneapolis since 1880, having been 
exceptionally successful, especially in handling difficult 
female diseases. Indeed, in this line of practice he has few 
equals or superiors in the Northwest. Two of his brothers 
are also practicing medicine in Minneapolis. In 1890 he was 
married to Olive Stewart, of Nova Scotia. 

Skogsbergh, Erik August, clergyman— Minneapolis — 
bom 30 June, 1850, at Elgi, Vermland, Sweden. His 
father w^as a nail manufacturer, his mother a farmer's 
daughter. Young Skogsbergh attended the public schools 
until twelve years of age; studied three years at a college 
at Arvika; took charge of his father's affairs and did a large 
business in Norway and Sweden; became interested in a 
religious movement; attended for a while a missionary 
school in Kristinehamn, with the intention to prepare to go 
as a missionary to Africa; entered a missionary school in 
Sm&land; and studied privately for four years at Jonkoping, 
with the purpose of entering the theological department in 




'luu Lb 



the University of Upsala; but instead accepted a call to 
Chicago, at the age of twenty-six. Skogsbergh traveled as 
a missionary throughout Vermland, SmUland, and Vester- 
^otland, preaching often in the open air to large crowds. 
In Sweden he was still a member of the Lutheran church, 
and his work was a kind of mission inside of the state 
■church. Since, however, this movement has been separated 
from the Lutheran church both in this country and in 
Sweden. The organization of which he is a member is 
called the Swedish Mission Covenant of America, and its 
church government resembles that of the Congregational, 
ists; but the mode of w^orship is more like that of the 
Methodists. Skogsbergh remained in Chicago for seven 
years, built a large church with a seating capacity of 
1,500, preached in several other places, and conducted 
revival meetings among his countrymen throughout the 
Western states. Since 1884 he has resided in Minneapolis, 
and erected the Swedish Tabernacle, which has a seating 
-capacity of 3,000, and is the largest church building in Min- 
neapolis. The membership is about 400, yet the audi- 
torium is often crowded with people. For a number of years 
he has also been editor of a Swedish newspaper in Minne- 
apolis. In 1879 he was married to Tillie S. Peterson of 
Chicago. They have several children. 

Skordalsvold, John J., journalist — Minneapolis — born 
29 Oct., 1853, in Meraker, Trondhjem stift, Norway. He 
came with his parents to this country in 1869, directly to 
Goodhue county, Minn., but the family moved to Todd 
county the following year. Young Skordalsvold cleared 
his father's farm; graduated from the literary department 


of Augsburg Seminary in 1881, and from the University of 
Minnesota seven years later; then studied over a year at 
the University of BerHn, Germany, making his own way 
through school; taught some in Augsburg Seminary; was 
editor of Folkebladet in 1883; is known as an active and 
earnest temperance worker, and lost considerable money a 
few years ago in connection with the Scandinavian coffee 
house which he organized in Minneapolis; has served for 
many years as secretary of the Minnesota Total Abstinence 
Asssociation and as superintendent of the educational de- 
partment of the Total Abstinence Congress; and has made 
greater sacrifices for the cause of temperance than any 
other Norwegian bom person in the state. For some ten 
years he was connected, both as principal and as teacher, 
w^ith the public evening schools of the city, and has for 
several years been a contributor to many Norwegian- Amer- 
ican and English newspapers and magazines. He is a mem- 
ber of the Unitarian church, and a Prohibitionist. Skor- 
dalsvold was married to Anne Romundstad in 1890. She 
is one of the few women who vmte for the Norwegian- 
American press. Skordalsvold has children. 

Smith, Charles A., lumber manufacturer— Minneapolis — 
bom 11 Dec, 1852, in Boxholm, Ostergotland, Sweden. He 
came with his father, who was a soldier in the Swedish 
army for a third of a century, to the United States at the 
age of fifteen, and settled in Minneapolis, Minn. He received 
a common school education, both in Sweden and here, then 
attended the University of Minnesota for one year, being 
one of the first Swedes who attended that institution. He 
received his business training in ex-Gov. J. S. Pillsbury's 


hardware store in Minneapolis, where he worked for five 
years; then, in company with his former employer, built an 
elevator at Herman, Minn., remaining there until 1884, 
when he returned to Minneapolis. Smith has since been 
extensively engaged in the manufacturing of lumber; besides, 
he owns lumber yards in several places in North Dakota; 
and is one of the directors of the Swedish-American 
National Bank in Minneapolis. "Smith is the coming man 
among the Swedes," said a prominent business man during 
the National Republican convention at Minneapolis in 
1892. But it is doubtful whether Smith has any political 
aspirations. He is a business man, and as such not many 
Scandinavian- Americans in the country are his equals. 
Smith is a Republican, and was one of the presidential 
electors of his party in 1896; but his extensive business 
interests prevent him from taking an active part in politics, 
except as counsellor, and as such he is undoubtedly one of 
the most influential Swedes in the state. His active co-ope- 
ration in nearly every movement calculated to benefit his 
countrymen or the public at large has made Smith's name 
honored and respected far beyond the limits of his home 
city. But the noiseless assistance which he has bestowed 
upon poor people and young men endeavoring to start in 
life, has, perhaps, even been greater than his public gener- 
osity. Smith's great popularity and success may be due 
to his liberality, economy, good judgment, keen understand- 
ing of human nature, or to that unknown something often 
called luck. In all probability Smith does not know him- 
self. Mankind generally calls such men well balanced. 
Smith deserves that distinction. He is a prominent member 


of the English Lutheran church, and has been treasurer of the 
English Evangelical Lutheran Synod of the Northwest for 
several years. Johanna Anderson, a daughter of Olof Ander- 
son, a riksdagstnan from Sweden, and one of the early 
settlers in Carver county, became Smith's wife in 1878. 
They have several children. 

Soderstrom, Alfred, newspaper manager — Minneapolis 
— ^bom 1848, in Stockholm, Sweden. After having received a 
good education in his native city, he, at the age of twenty- 
one, emigrated to this country; resided in Chicago for two 
years; then moved to Minneapolis, Minn., where for some 
time he w^as a teacher in Barnard Business College. Later 
he associated himself with Col. Mattson as general man- 
ager of Minnesota Stats Tidning; but when this paper 
w^as sold to a syndicate composed of Swedish Lutherans, 
Soderstrom retired and became the chief promoter in 
organizing a stock company which commenced to publish 
Svenaka Folkets Tidning in 1881, and of which he was 
business manager up to 1899. Since he has been preparing 
a Swedish history of Minneapolis, which he should be able to 
make very thorough and complete, as he has resided in that 
city for nearly thirty years, and has participated in all the 
leading events pertaining to the Scandinavians in that 
place. He was nominated for county treasurer of Henne- 
pin county in 1892, and was the only Republican candidate 
in the county that was defeated; the general opinion was 
that he had been knifed by the political bosses. He is 

Sohlberg, Olof, physician and surgeon— St Paul— bom 
6 July, 1859, in Ostersund, Sweden. After receiving a col- 


lege training in his native country, SoWberg emigrated to 
America with his parents in 1879; spent one year at Gus- 
tavus Adolphus College, and then entered Minnesota Col- 
lege Hospital (now the medical department of the state 
university) at Minneapolis; graduated from this institution 
after three years of study, receiving first prizes for the best 
examinations in pathology, medical and surgical dentistry, 
and clinical medicine. Sohlberg was the first foreign-bom 
that graduated as a medical doctor in Minnesota. Since 
1884 he has successfully practiced his profession in St. Paul. 
During the years of 1890-91 Sohlberg traveled abroad for 
study and observation of treatment in the European 
hospitals, making surgery and diseases of women his 
special study. He is a member of Ramsey County Medical 
Society and of Minnesota State and American medical 
associations. He is also member of the medical and surgical 
staff of Bethesda Hospital. He is a member of the board of 
directors of Gustavus. Adolphus College, and takes an 
active part in church and public affairs. Sohlberg was 
married in 1886 to Helvina A. Wold. They have children. 

Solem, A., joumaUst— Fergus Falls— born 27 April, 
1850, near Trondhjem, Norway. He graduated from Klabo 
seminary, near Trondhjem, in 1870. After five years spent 
in teaching school in the northern part of Norway, he 
attended the polytechnic school in Trondhjem three years. 
Solem came directly from Norway to Otter Tail county in 
1879, and there commenced life as a carpenter. He soon 
learned the type-setting business and worked on both Nor- 
wegian and English papers. In 1884 he bought the Ferg us 
Falls Ugeblad, of which he is still editor and proprietor. 


Solem was an exponent of the principles of the People's 
party, but he did not endorse the methods of some of the 
leaders of the party. On the whole, his paper will gener- 
ally be found on the side of fair play and justice whether it 
brings pecuniary returns or not. He is a member of the 
United Church. He was married to Marith Ronning in 

Sorensen, Sigvart, journalist— MinneapoHs— bom 18 
Nov., 1849, in Kristiania, Norway. Attended a Latin 
school at Kristiania from 1861-66, then emigrated to this 
country with his parents. Stayed in Chicago from 1866-68; 
in Madison, Wis., from 1868-70; and in La Crosse, Wis., 
from 1870-89, when he again removed to Chicago, where 
he stayed until 1891. Sorensen was elected city assessor of 
La Crosse for seven terms; has been connected with some 
newspaper or other since 1873; was for some time one of 
the editors of Norsk Maanedsskrift, published by Soren- 
sen and Luth Jaeger; was editor oi Norden, Chicago, from 
1890-91; came to Minneapolis in 1891, becoming editor of 
Badstikken, now^ Minneapolis Tidende. Sorensen is an 
able and careful writer, and in 1899 wrote a history of 
Norway in the English language, containing about 500 
pages. He was married in 1873 to Hanna Husher, a 
daughter of F. A. Husher. They have two children. 

Stark, L. J., state legislator— Harris— bom 29 July, 
1826, in Lidkoping, Yestergotland, Sweden. He came to 
this country in 1850, settling at Galesburg, 111., where he 
remained about a year and a half; then moved to Chisago 
Lake, Minn. During the Civil War he was clerk in the 
quartermaster department in St. Paul. In 1864 Stark was 


elected to the state legislature, and re-elected ten years 
later, being, therefore, the first Swede who served in that 
capacity in Minnesota, though several Norwegians had 
preceded him. He had been engrossing clerk in the house of 
representatives before his election to this body. Stark has 
held many local trusts in his county, is interested in mer- 
chandising and farming, is a Lutheran in religion, and 
belongs to the Republican party. He has been married 
twice, and has grown children by both wives. 

Steenerson, Halvor, lawyer and state senator — Crook- 
ston— bom 30 June, 1852, in Pleasant Spring, Dane county. 
Wis. His parents came from Norway in 1850, moved to 
Houston county, Minn., in 1853, and were therefore among 
the very earliest Norwegian settlers in Minnesota. Young 
Steenerson attended the high school at Rushford, Minn., 
worked on his father's farm, taught school for several years, 
and graduated from Union College of Law in Chicago, in 
1878. For two years he practiced his profession in Lanes- 
boro, Fillmore county, moved to Crookston in 1880, and 
has for years been considered as one of the ablest attorneys 
in the state, making criminal cases his specialty. He insti- 
tuted, conducted, and won, on behalf of the farmers and 
grain shippers, the noted Steenerson grain case, which 
attracted national attention and resulted in state control 
and regulation of railroad charges on grain shipments. He 
was elected county attorney of Polk county in 1880, serving 
two years, and represented his district in the state senate 
during the sessions of 1883-85. During his legislative career 
he took special interest in securing the establishment of rail- 
road warehouses and the regulation of the same. He is a 


Republican, was his party's delegate to the national conven- 
tion in Chicago, in 1884, which nominated Blaine for the 
presidency, and also to the convention at which Harrison 
was nominated four years later. Steenerson has been city 
attorney, and a meraber of the city council and board of 
education; is vice-president of Scandia American Bank of 
Crookston, member of the I. 0. 0. F., and a Lutheran. In 
1878 he w^as married to Mary Christopherson; they have 
two children. 

Stoekenstrom, Herman, journalist— St. Paul— born 13 
Mar., 1853, in Stjernsund, Dalarne, Sweden. His ancestors 
belonged to a noble family of Sweden, and he has inherited 
a great deal of property. He received a college education in 
Falun, afterwards attended Stockholm's gymnasium and 
Schartau's commercial coUege, in Stockholm. In 1874 he 
went as a sailor to Philadelphia; studied for a couple of 
years at Augustana College, where he also taught, both in 
the college and privately; was editor of Skandia in Moline, 
111., for about one year; and came to St. Paul, Minn., in 
1877. For two years Stoekenstrom attended the University 
of Minnesota, Minneapolis, then accepted a position as 
editor of Skaffaren; but when this paper and the Minne- 
sota Stats Tidning: were consolidated in 1882, he became 
both e ditor and manager, a position which he exchanged in 
1884 for another of the same kind as the northwestern 
editor of Hetnlandet, which position he held for eleven 
years. He has taken a gr eat deal of interest in politics; has 
been a delegate to several state and county conventions; 
was a strong candidate for the office of secretary of state in 
1886, but retired in favor of his personal friend, Col. Matt- 




son, by -whom he was twice appointed assistant secretary 
of state; and was twice appointed by Brown to the same 
position. During more than a decade Stockenstrom worked 
faithftilly for the Repubhcan party as a campaign speaker; 
but in recent years he has not devoted much time to poHtical 
questions. Ernst Skarstedt, in his admirable book, 
S p'ensk-Ata erikan ska Poe ter, says : ' 'Stockenstrom is an 
excellent orator and declaimer, and a poet of more than 
ordinary talent." As a newspaper correspondent he has 
contributed many articles to several of the leading Swedish- 
American papers, and is as familiar with the English lan- 
guage as with his native tongue. Since 1895 he has been a 
member of the editorial staff of Svenska Amerikanska 
Posten in Minneapolis. His poem, Det N_ya Modersmklet, 
is an excellent illustration of how the Swedish language, as 
used in this country, becomes mixed with English words 
supplied with Swedish endings. Stockenstrom is a member 
of the English Lutheran church, is one of the most popular 
Swedes in Minnesota, and was married in 1881 to Anna 
Maria Nelson, of St. Paul, Minn. 

Stub, Hans Gerhard, educator---Hamline— born 23 Feb., 
1849, in Muskego, Racine county. Wis. His parents are 
Norwegians, his father being the well-known Rev. H. A. 
Stub, pastor in the Norwegian Lutheran Synod. In 1866 
he graduated from Luther College, Decorah, Iowa; in 1869 
he graduated with distinction from Concordia College, Fort 
Wayne, Ind., and in 1872 from the Concordia Theological 
Seminary at St. Louis. He was ordained a minister the 
same year and accepted a call from a Norwegian Synod con- 
gregation in Minneapolis, Minn., serving this congregation 


till 1878, when he became professor of theology in Luther 
Seminary, Madison, Wis. Of this institution Stub was 
president from 1879-88, when he resigned from the presi- 
dency on account of ill health, but for many years retained 
the professorship; then w^as clergyman in Decorah for a few 
years, and returned to Luther Seminary in 1899. The 
North says: "The entire Norwegian Lutheran Synod in 
this country recognizes Prof. Stub as its ablest and most 
erudite scholar in his special branch of study. His learning 
is of a high order, and in addition he is a man of the high- 
est personal attainments." He has been married twice, and 
his second wife is the noted musician Valborg Hovind Stub, 
editor of Songs froxa the North. 

Sverdrup, Georg, educator— Minneapolis— born 16 Dec, 
1848, in Balestrand, Bergen stift, Norway. He received a 
careful training at home, graduated with the highest honors 
from the classical department of a Latin school inKristiania 
at the age of seventeen, and completed his theological 
course at the University of Norway in 1871. He had made 
a special study of the Oriental languages during his school 
career, and after his graduation he spent considerable time 
in Paris, France, for the purpose of farther investigating his 
specialty. For years the Norwegian Lutheran church in this 
country had suffered from many severe storms, bitter dis- 
putes had prevailed and rent the church asunder. At last, 
in 1870, the Norwegian-Danish Conference was organized — 
an event which forms an epoch in the history of the Nor- 
wegian churches in America. The Conference, of which the 
well-known Rev. C. L. Clausen was the first president, began 
at once the erection of Augsburg Seminary in Minneapolis, 


Minn. When it was completed, Sverdrup received a call to 
become professor of theology. He accepted, and arrived at 
his destination and entered upon his new duties in 1874; 
tw^o years later Prof. A. Weenaas resigned from his position 
as theological instructor and president of the institution. 
Sverdrup succeeded him in the presidency, and under his able 
management Augsburg Seminary has in about twenty- 
five years become one of the foremost Scandinavian educa- 
tional institutions in America. When the Conference, in 
1890, was merged into the United Norwegian Lutheran 
Church of America, Sverdrup was again chosen president of 
Augsburg Seminary. When the United Church withdrew its 
support from Augsburg Seminary in 1893, Sverdrup 
remained at the head of the institution during the years of 
bitter struggle in which the United Church in vain tried to 
obtain possession of the school. When finally the matter 
w^as amicably settled in 1898 by a division of the property 
of the seminary between the United Church and the Augs- 
burg Seminary corporation, this important settlement was 
due in part to the pronounced stand taken by Sverdrup 
against lawsuits in connection with the affairs of the 
church. Rev. J. C. Jensson in American Lutheran Bio- 
graphies says: "He is a nephew of ex-minister Johan 
Sverdrup, for many years premier of Norway, and his father 
was a noted minister in the state church and a member of 
the Storthing of his native country. Born of illustrious 
parentage, endowed with rare mental qualities, thoroughly 
educated, and having inherited no small degree of the family 
characteristics which have made the name so prominent, 
Sverdrup possesses in an eminent degree the conditions for 


being a leader among the Norwegian Lutherans in this 
country." Sverdrup has been married twice: in 1874 to 
Katharine E. Heiberg, who died thirteen years later, and in 
1890 to Elsie S. Heiberg, a younger sister of his first wife. 
He has had children by both wives. 

Swainson, John, pioneer — St. Paul — bom 1816, in 
Stockholm, Sweden; died 1890. He graduated from the 
University of Upsala; emigrated to the U. S. in 1848; settled 
in 1854 at Chisago Lake, Minn., w^here he farmed for a 
w^hile, then moved to St. Paul. At the outbreak of the Civil 
War he was appointed quarter-master, with major's rank; 
and was stationed at St. Louis, Mo., remaining there until 
the war ended. From 1871-76 he was employed as gener- 
al land agent for the Great Northern R. R., residing in St. 
Paul; farmed for a couple of years at Hallock, Minn.; 
returned to St. Paul, where he was engaged in the real estate 
business until he was accidentally killed by a street car. 
The general opinion is that Swainson left a mysterious his- 
tory behind him in Sweden; yet he was the leader of several 
farmers who emigrated at the same time as he did. This 
open way of leaving his native country -would hardly have 
been possible if he had been a criminal. But whatever 
might have been his career in Europe, here he became widely 
and most favorably known, especially among the Swedes. 
He was a friend to the poor people, and his wealth was 
often invested, with little or no security, for the benefit of 
needy Swedes. He quite frequently was the orator at festi- 
vals, and contributed extensively to the best Swedish and 
English periodicals, but many of his so-called literary pro- 
ductions were plagiarized. 


Sward, P. J., clergyman — St. Paul— born 1 April, 1845, 
in Styra, Ostergotland, Sweden. At the age of twenty-three 
he graduated from Johannelund mission institute in Stock- 
holm. This school has special royal privileges, and gradu- 
ates from there may, after being examined, be ordained as 
ministers of the foreign missions and seamen's missions in 
foreign ports. He served one year as assistant minister in 
Ostergotland; went to Constantinople, Turkey, in 1869, as 
chaplain of the Swedish-Norwegian legation and missionary 
for the Scandinavian seamen; remained there four years, 
visited Egypt and Palestine, and for sometime was chaplain 
of the German embassy; came from Turkey to New York to 
take charge of the Scandinavian seamen's mission, and 
while there organized the first Swedish Lutheran church in 
Brooklyn, in 1874; went to Baltimore in 1877 to organize 
a Scandinavian seamen's mission; but on account of ill 
health accepted, the following year, a call to Vasa, Minn., 
where he remained for eight years, then moved to St. Paul. 
Sward was president of the Minnesota Conference for two 
years and vice-president for six years; w^as theological 
professor in Augustana College, Rock Island, 111., during the 
school year of 1888—89, but not desiring to leave his work 
in St. Paul unfinished, he resigned; was elected vice-president 
of the Augustana Synod in 1889; and served as president of 
the synod from 1891 to 1899. The Augustana College and 
Theological Seminary conferred the degree of doctor of 
divinity on Sward in 1894, and the same year he was creat- 
ed commander of the order of the North Star, second class, 
by King Oscar. II. of Sweden. For several years he was one 
of the editors of Skaffaren; served a congregation in 


Omalia, Neb., from 1894 to 1899; and at the latter date 
entered the service of the state church of his native land. 
Svirard ranks high as a pulpit orator. Some of his ser- 
mons, especially those delivered at gatherings of clergymen 
and theological students, were masterpieces. His mild, 
somewhat humorous, temper, his conscientious attention to 
the duties imposed upon him, his great know^ledge of the 
world, his clear understanding of human nature, made him 
an exceptionally able president in a free church. The whole 
bearing of the man was democratic, and it is claimed that 
he returned to Sweden principally because a position there 
offered more time for contemplation and rest and a safer 
livelihood in old age than it is possible to secure here. Sward 
himself said that he returned partly because he desired to 
leave the direction of the Swedish- American Lutheran church 
in younger and abler hands, which shows the modesty of 
the man. He was married to Selma Maria Thermaenius, of 
Sodermanland, Sweden, in 1872. They have six children. 

Swenson, John, state legislator and banker — Canby— 
bom 1842, in Norway. He came to Minnesota in 1872, 
and has since been engaged in merchandising, milling, and 
banking. He ow^ns several banks in the w^estem part of the 
state; and is very liberal with his wealth, having in a quiet 
way assisted a host of needy people. He is married, and 
represented his district in the state legislature in 1883. 

Swenson, Lars, state senator — Minneapolis — ^bom 10 
July, 1842, in Hallingdal, Norway. His great grandfather 
was a Scotchman. When fifteen years of age Swenson came 
with his parents to the United States; they settled in Nic- 
ollet county, Minn., where he worked on the farm and 


attended school. He studied for some time at Luther Col- 
lege, and at the breaking out of the Civil War enlisted in 
the Second Regiment of Minnesota Volunteers. He was 
wounded and taken prisoner at the battle of Chicamauga. 
After the war he returned to Nicollet county, where he was 
clerk of court for four years. Swenson came to Minne- 
apolis in 1879. He was treasurer of Augsburg Seminary 
for thirteen years, and has ever since 1879 been manager of 
the Augsburg Publishing House, and treasurer of the United 
Church since 1890. He was elected alderman in 1884, and 
served in the state senate in 1887-89. Swenson is a Repub- 
lican and a widower. 

Swenson, L. S., educator and U. S. minister to Denmark 
— Albert Lea — ^bom 12 June, 1865, in New Sweden, Nicollet 
county, Minn. His grandfather and father were natives of 
Hallingdal, Norway; both emigrated to the United States 
and settled in Nicollet county, Minn., in 1857. His father 
represented his district in the state legislature in 1887. 
Young Swenson entered St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minn., 
at the age of fourteen; graduated from Luther College, 
Decorah, Iowa, in 1886; then studied for some time at 
Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore. When Luther Acad- 
emy, in Albert Lea, was opened in 1888, Swenson accepted 
the call as its principal, in which capacity he served until 
1897. Ever since he located in Albert Lea, Swenson has 
taken an active part in politics. In some way or another 
he succeeded in being regularly sent as a delegate to county, 
congressional, and state conventions; stumped the state in 
favor of Knute Nelson as governor in 1892; was appointed 
a member of the board of regents of the State University in 


1895; and the next year was a delegate to the Republican 
convention at St. Louis, which nominated Wm. McKinley 
for president. Through the efforts of Knute Nelson more 
than on account of any diplomatic experience on the part of 
Swenson, he received the appointment as minister to Den- 
mark in 1897. In 1887 he was married to Ingeborg Ode- 
gaard. They have tw^o daughters. 

Sunwall, G. F., grain merchant— Minneapolis— born 11 
April, 1852, in Oppeby, Ostergotland, Sweden. He received 
a college education in his native country, graduating from 
the elenientarra.rovS.rk at Eksjo in 1867. Two years 
later he emigrated to America, coming directly to Carver 
county, Minn., and clerked in stores in Carver village for 
three years. Then started in business for himself at Wal- 
nut Grove in 1873, which village he also founded at the 
same time. After having remained in the general mercan- 
tile business at that place for a couple of years, he com- 
menced to buy grain at different points along the Omaha 
R. R., which occupation he followed for about five years. 
In 1880 he returned to Carver, w^here he remained until 
1885, engaged in the grain business. At the latter date 
Sunwall settled in Minneapolis, where he organized the 
Central Elevator Company, a quarter million dollars' con- 
cern,' of which he was manager for about ten years; then 
sold out his interest in said company, and started a large 
grain commission business in his own name in 1895. Sun- 
w^all is the only Swede in Minneapolis doing a grain com- 
mission business, and is one of the leading business men of 
that nationality in the Northwest. In 1877 he was mar- 
ried to Annie E. Kelly. 




Tharaldsen, Iver, clergyman — Madison — bom 10 Nov., 
1847, near Stenkjar, Trondhjem stift, Norway. He received 
a common school education; attended an agricultural col- 
lege for a couple of terms; and went to the Lofoten Islands, 
where two clergymen gave him private instruction for a 
period of two years. In 1870 he emigrated to America, 
and the next few years were devoted to studies as follows: 
at Marshall, Wis., for one year; at the University of Wis- 
consin for one year; at the University of Minnesota and 
Augsburg Seininary for two years; and he completed a 
theological course at the latter institution in 1874. During 
the next seven years he served a number of congregations in 
Otter Tail county, Minn., besides organizing several new 
churches in the northwestern part of Minnesota. While 
laboring in this part of the country he at one time had 
charge of sixteen congregations, covering a district more 
than one hundred and fifty miles in length, w^hich had to be 
covered either driving or on horseback. In 1881 he removed 
to Grand Forks, N. D., where he remained three years. Also 
here he worked as a missionary among the new settlers on 
the prairies in the surrounding country in Minnesota and 
Dakota, and organized a number of new congregations. 
His health being impaired by overwork, he sought a less 
laborious field of action, and in 1884 located at Chippewa 
Falls, Wis., where he resided about fourteen years, having 
since resided at his present home. From 1886 to 1890 
Tharaldsen was secretary of the Conference, and for some 
time served as secretary of the board of missions of said 
association. Since 1890 he and his congregations have 
belonged to the United Church. In the first part of 1896 


he traveled extensively in the Rocky Mountain districts, 
Colorado and Utah, to recuperate after a long and severe 
siege of sickness of the preceding year. He -was married in 
1876 to Caroline A. Engerud, of Racine, Wis., a sister of 
the wife of Prof. Peter Hendrickson; they have five children, 
and their oldest daughter and oldest son are graduates of 
the Chippewa Falls high school. 

Thompson, R. E., state senator and lawyer — Preston — 
bom 7 Mar., 1857, in Fillmore county, Minn. His parents 
were Norwegians. He was educated in the common schools 
of Newburg, Minn.; in the Institute of Decorah, Decorah, 
Iowa; and in the State Normal School, Winona, Minn. 
After having taught school for some time, he commenced to 
study law; was admitted to the bar in 1881; served as 
deputy clerk of court for some time; represented his district 
in the state legislature during the sessions of 1883-85; and 
was in the state senate from 1895 to 1901, being one of the 
ablest and most influential members of that body. 
Thompson is a hard w^orker; very independent, and as a 
consequence does not always foUow^ the party whip of the 
Republican bosses; and has a large legal practice. In 1884 
he was married to Anna Thompson; they have two children. 

Thorpe, Lars O., banker and state senator— Willmar— 
bom 24 Dec, 1846, in Ostenso, Hardanger, Norway. He 
came alone to the United States when not quite seventeen 
years old, having been a sailor a couple of years before. 
He worked on a farm during the summer, and attended 
school for a v\rhile during the winter at Jefferson Prairie, 
Wis.; went to Winona, Minn., in 1865, where for a couple 
of years he worked on farms and taught school. In 1867 


he visited his native land, bringing his sister and brother 
■with him on his return; was a railroad contractor and 
printer in different places for a few years, but settled perma- 
nentlyin Kandiyohi county,Minn.,inl871, where he assisted 
in publishing a paper in Kandiyohi village ; and in the fall 
of that year moved to a farm located seven miles north of 
Willmar. For four years he worked on his farm, encounter- 
ing many struggles and vicissitudes common to frontier life. 
In the fall of 1875 he was elected register of deeds, which 
position he filled for six years. His official duties requiring 
him to stay much of the time in the city, he found it neces- 
sary to move from his farm and settle in Willmar, where he 
has ever since resided. In 1881 he accepted his present 
position as cashier of Kandiyohi County Bank. Thorpe is 
a Republican, was a presidential elector for his party in 
1884, has been a member of the school board of Willmar 
for several years, is president of Willmar Seminary, has 
been president of the city council, represented his district in 
the state senate in 1895-7, and has held nearly every local 
office. He is a member of the Norwegian Synod, and is a 
temperance man, being one of the most active workers in 
the religious, social reform, political, and financial move- 
ments of the city and county, and takes more than ordi- 
nary interest in the affairs of the state. In 1870 he was 
married to Martha Quale. They have several children. 

Thorson, A., pioneer and county official — Norseland — 
bom 13 Feb., 1823, in Va, near Kristianstad, Sweden. He 
clerked for eleven years in Kristianstad and Solvesborg; 
emigrated in 1847, in company with a couple of other 
young men, to this country, via France; it took them over 


four montlis to reach Charleston, S. C, where the vessel, on 
account of being damaged, -had to anchor, instead of at 
New York. He happened to have a letter of introduction 
to a Swedish merchant who had emigrated to the U. S. in 
his younger days, and w^as now an old man; but this mer- 
chant had relatives who had settled in America in the 
eighteenth century, which goes to show that Swedish emi- 
grants have in very early days crossed the Atlantic. In a 
short time Thorson and his companions started for New 
Orleans; here they ran short of money and food; but he 
soon secured a place as waiter in a hotel. In 1848 Thorson 
went to California, via Panama, working for his passage; 
at that time there were only a few houses in San Fran- 
cisco, and not a single one in Sacramento. After having 
dug gold for about three years and saved about $2,000, he 
returned to Sw^eden, via Nicaragua, Jamaica, Cuba, and 
New York. He farmed for two years in the vicinity of his 
birthplace; returned to, America in 1855, being the leader of 
thirty emigrants w^ho accompanied him to the New World, 
among others his wife's parents and other relatives. Thor- 
son and his party examined different places, but soon set- 
tled at Scandian Grove, Nicollet county, Minn., where they 
were the first Swedish settlers, though a few Norwegians 
had preceded them. Here he has farmed ever since, was 
register of deeds for four years, held various local offices, 
and has passed through many hardships incidental to